BATAVIA – Over the frustration of residents attending the meeting, the Batavia School Board on Tuesday approved a property tax levy that would increase property taxes by an estimated 0.7 percent next year.
“It is being put on the back of struggling homeowners in Batavia,” resident Carl Dinwiddie said to school board members.
Kris Monn, District 101’s assistant superintendent for finance, said the levy would increase property taxes by 0.7 percent and would result in a $33 increase in property taxes for the average homeowner in Batavia in 2013.
That assumes an average property value decrease of 5 percent, Monn said.
The district projects that operating taxes will increase by 3 percent and debt taxes will decrease by $800,000, resulting in a small increase for Batavia homeowners, he said.
The levy seeks just more than $66.5 million in property taxes, which make up 81.2 percent of the district’s revenues. This amount represents a 2.2 percent increase over last year’s extension of approximately $65 million.
Batavia resident Carrie Sebold, who is a Realtor with Baird & Warner, said the community can’t afford any more tax increases.
“They use us as an ATM,” she said after the meeting.
Sebold wrote a letter to the board stating her opposition to the levy.
“This tax increase has a negative impact on property values in the district,” she said in the letter. “This year alone, we have seen property values in Batavia fall by 3.8 percent, when other communities such as Geneva rise by 3 percent. We have seen home transactions in Batavia fall by over 34 percent, when other communities such as St. Charles have risen by over 43 percent.”