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Local

St. Charles approves $21 million tax levy

City to maintain existing tax rate

ST. CHARLES – The city of St. Charles plans to maintain its existing tax rate as part of a $21 million tax levy for 2018.

As a result, residents would only see a slight increase in the city portion of their tax bill. At their Dec. 3 meeting, aldermen unanimously voted to approve the levy.

Illinois property taxes are paid one year in arrears. Any payments made in 2019 will actually be applied towards 2018 taxes.

The tax levy of $21 million is a 6.98 percent increase over last year's levy of $19.4 million. That includes $12.5 million in the city's operations levy and $8.3 million in the debt service levy.

In a Nov. 5 presentation to aldermen, St. Charles finance director Chris Minick said recent real estate market conditions allow for a consistent tax rate while providing more property tax revenue to the city. A four percent growth in the equalized assessed valuation would would provide $482,059 of additional property tax revenue while keeping the tax rate the same at approximately 85 cents per $100 of equalized assessed value, Minick said.

The owner of a house valued at $300,000 would see their annual city taxes increase to $880.15, up from $846.31, if their property saw a 4 percent growth in EAV. If that same house saw a 3.5 percent growth in EAV, the owner would see their annual city taxes increase to $875.92, up from $846.31 last year.

He noted that the city has kept its operating levy – funded through property taxes – frozen at $12,055,117 for nine years, dating back to 2009.

"Our residents and our property owners within the city have enjoyed dramatic savings over that nine year period because of the actions that the City Council has taken," Minick said.

The City Council had asked staff if there was a way to take advantage of the increases in the EAV while still maintaining a consistent property tax rate for the property owners within the city.

The levy amount also incorporates the amount necessary for principal and interest payments on the city’s general obligation bond issues. Minick said it is anticipated that the debt service property tax levies will be abated in their entirety during early 2019.

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