A press release from Lakewood Village President Paul Serwatka:
Lakewood Proposes 10% Cut in Property Tax Levy
Village Board to Vote This Tuesday, December 12th at 7:00pm.
This Tuesday, December 12th 2017, at Turnberry Country Club Meeting Room, staff and I will propose, and the board will be voting on, Lakewood’s property tax levy for the year 2017 (payable in 2018) which reflects a 10% reduction in the amount of property taxes collected in the previous year.
The levy as proposed is a clean, straight forward, legitimate 10% cut/reduction in the amount of property taxes to be levied by our village and paid by Lakewood residents!
NO abatements, NO “shell-games”, NO “smoke and mirrors”. [County government abated taxes. Abated taxes may be re-imposed in the future. The Algonquin Township Road Distrit levy was cut 5%, not abated.]
The entire 10% property tax levy reduction being proposed has been achieved through
- the restructuring of our village administration
- eliminating redundancies and creating efficiencies, including the consolidation of the previous positions of Village Manager and Finance Director into the singular “Chief Administrative Officer position, as well as
- the elimination of the position of Deputy Manager.
Also noteworthy, this 10% reduction in our property tax levy is being proposed with NO SERVICES BEING CUT OR REDUCED – in fact, we have actually increased our police officers, police supervisory roles and police officer training and now have a greater police presence in our village with better trained officers.
You can learn more about the re-structuring of our police dept and the transformation of our village administration, by simply clicking HERE.
The Reduced Levy Being Proposed
Illinois State Statute requires all taxing bodies to request specific property tax amounts and not set tax rates.
This legislation is based on the state’s belief that local governments should only ask for what is needed to finance their operations and should not gain unnecessarily from significant increases in property values.
Specific to the levy being proposed, staff has determined that a levy amount of $1,586,509 representing a 10% decrease in the prior year levy amount of $1,762,788 is sufficient to cover expenditures for the next fiscal year.
The justification for reducing the levy by 10%, or $176,278 savings is as follows:
- Consolidation of Village Manager and Finance Director position ($76, 100);
- Reduction of Police Chief salary ($24,405 – adjusted for COLA);
- IMRF savings for these positions ($10,654);
- Fire Equipment Loan paid in full ($41,000) and
- Part Time Building Inspector position contracted out ($25,720)
totaling a cost savings to the Village of $177,879.
The Village is committed to a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year, excluding planned capital improvement projects, while maintaining a healthy General Fund reserve.
The 2017 Audit of the General Fund revealed a fiscal year fund balance increase of $213,516 over expenditures and a total fund balance reserve of $1,378,455 representing 52% of annual expenditures.
Our Auditor typically recommends a fund balance between 30%-50%.
Therefore, a levy decrease for this year is justified.
All Lakewood residents are encouraged to attend this meeting on Tuesday, December 12th at 7:00pm.
Come show your support for this property tax cut and encourage village board members to vote YES!
The meeting will be held at Turnberry Country Club Meeting Room located at 9600 Turnberry Trail in Lakewood.
PLEASE SHARE this with Lakewood neighbors – and Please Make an Effort to come and voice your support!
I really hope to see you there!
I will also be following up with an important newsletter, tomorrow, regarding two important items from this Tuesday’s meeting, that you should really be aware of. Please look for this follow-up newsletter.