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St. Charles aims to keep tax levy flat in 2013

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 6:15 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – For the fifth year in a row, the city of St. Charles plans to hold its operational tax levy flat.

At a public hearing Monday, Finance Director Chris Minick said he expects the city’s estimated equalized assessed value to decrease by 4.5 percent in 2013 compared with 2012. Taxpayers whose property also declines by that amount will pay the same amount for the 2013 levy as they paid for the 2012 levy. Bills will go up for taxpayers whose valuation goes up or stays the same.

The levy, which has been frozen since 2009, would be at an estimated $21.8 million for 2013, with the operational portion held at about $12 million. In 2012, the levy was about $23.3 million. The actual levy request is 6.4 percent less than 2012.

Minick said over the five-year period, the owner of a home valued at $300,000 in 2009 would see a tax savings of $112.

Minick said the amount of a homeowner’s taxes depends on the valuation of taxpayers’ property as it relates to the change in the city’s equalized assessed value.

He said if the value of a property declines by more than the city-wide average of 4.5 percent, the property tax bill would remain the same.

For example, the owner of a home worth $200,000 in 2012 paid $585 in taxes. If that same property is valued at $191,000 in 2013, the homeowner would still pay $585. But that doesn’t mean all homeowners will see a flat tax rate in 2013.

“There would be no change in the amount of property taxes paid to the city by the property,” Minick said. “It is possible that a person could experience either an increase in their value or a decline that is not as great as 4.5 percent that we anticipate for the city, the tax bill would increase slightly.”

The proposed levy also includes an anticipated debt service abatement from $10.8 million in 2012 to $9.3 million in 2013.

“We’re also able to maintain prudent pension funding of about $4.7 million,” Minick said.

The City Council is expected to vote on the proposed tax levy at its Dec. 16 meeting.

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