FRG will not take inflation rate on levy

FOX RIVER GROVE – The Fox River Grove Village Board on Thursday passed its tax levy request of $835,566, choosing to extend its levy only by new construction and not taking the inflation rate.

The village could have increased its levy by the rate of inflation under tax cap law, but it chose not to. By not taking the Consumer Price Index, which is 3 percent, the village loses out on $37,000.

If the village had taken the full amount allowed under the law, it would have meant an owner of a $250,000 house would have paid about $13 more next year to the village.

Village Administrator Karl Warwick said that by keeping the levy relatively flat, the village’s portion of the property tax bill will increase by “cents rather than dollars.”

The board requested a slightly ballooned levy to ensure that it captures all new construction in the village.

Equalized assessed property values are estimated to have dropped 9 percent during the year, Warwick said.

Final property tax rates for next year won’t be set until property values are finalized in the spring.

Trustee Steve Knar argued for taking the full amount.

“It’s the cost of a movie ticket is what you’re saving people,” Knar said.

He said the village has road projects and downtown improvements, among other things, that it needs to carry out.

“If we’re going to do anything we do with the downtown, we’re going to have some money to do it,” Knar said. “We’re denying the rightful income this village needs to serve the residents.”

All other trustees voted for extending the levy by only the amount of new construction.

“The school system is going to ask for more money ... where does it end?” Trustee Joanna Colletti said. “I feel we’re being very fiscally responsible. Yes, we do have outstanding liabilities we will have to pay for. ... We are doing what we can with the money we have.”