Huntley expects to keep property tax levy rate flat

HUNTLEY – Although the village of Huntley is requesting more money than last year for its 2016 property tax levy, the tax levy rate is expected to stay the same.

The village is asking for $4.5 million, compared with the $3.8 million it requested the past six years, Huntley Finance Director Jennifer Chernak said. The increase is because of the village’s south tax increment financing district at the end of the year.

“The valuation of the TIF will now be included in what the village requests,” Chernak said.

In a TIF district, the equalized assessed valuation of all taxable real estate within the area is “frozen” as the base EAV for 23 years. Taxes are levied at the base EAV in the redevelopment area for taxing districts such as the county and school districts.

However, the growth in property tax revenues as a result of the private investment is put into a TIF fund controlled by the municipality and used to pay for the public investment made in the redevelopment area or other eligible TIF costs, such as incentives.

The south TIF district in Huntley was created to help develop what was once farmland and now includes businesses such as the Huntley Outlet Center and General RV Center, Chernak said.

“Our focus this year is, ‘Let’s do what we can to hold the rate for taxpayers,’ ” Chernak said.

An average homeowner of a $250,000 house in Huntley would pay about $449 to the village, she said, and less if any exemptions are taken.

The value of the taxable property in the village is set to grow by about 10 percent from last year, according to a preliminary estimate by the McHenry County Assessor’s Office.

Huntley Mayor Charles Sass said he’s proud that the village has been able to hold the rate the past few years.

Factors that are increasing expenses for the village next budget year include the state mandate requiring dispatch center consolidation and the decrease of building permits, he said.

“We’re doing 200 building permits this year in the residential, and we’re not forecasting much for next year,” Sass said.

Because the proposed 2016 gross property tax levy is 105 percent greater than the 2015 net property tax extension, the village is required under the Truth in Taxation Law to hold a public hearing. The hearing will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Huntley Village Hall, 10987 Main St.

“In my estimate it will be a one-time process because in 2018 we would’ve already captured the TIF value,” Chernak said.

After the hearing, the village’s budget and property tax levy are set to be voted on at the Dec. 8 Village Board meeting, Chernak said.

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