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Cary board opts to freeze tax levy

CARY – Village Board members on Tuesday decided to freeze its property tax levy and opted not to take an additional $52,000 it legally can receive.

The property tax levy will be $2.45 million, which is the same amount the village collected this year. Village staff had proposed increasing the levy to $2.5 million, which it would be allowed under the tax cap law.

Michael DuCharme of Lauterbach and Amen, the village’s financial consulting firm, recommended increasing the levy to help pay for increased police pension costs.

Trustee Rick Dudek was the only trustee to vote against freezing the levy, and supported increasing the levy by $52,000.

“It’s prudent planning on what to do with the money, being that we have to fund the pension at some point,” Dudek said.

He said a freeze was not fiscally responsible.

Trustee David Chapman said the village can find places in its budget to cut to avoid asking residents to pay more in taxes. The village opted to only capture new growth in 2011.

“I understand the pension problem, ... but it will require us to have an unbloated budget. ... A budget without a lot of fluff,” Chapman said.

Village President Mark Kownick advocated for a $52,000 increase and said the village runs a lean operation.

“Not only do we have a pension fund that we have to continuously fund, we have our facilities that are in dire need of repair,” Kownick said.

Property taxes levied by the village account for about 5 percent of a typical homeonwer’s bill, according to Village Administrator Chris Clark.

Village board members on Tuesday also decided to terminate its alarm-monitoring program.

The village has had a fire and security alarm-monitoring program since 1994, but the system it uses is obsolete, according to village documents.

The village has 11 subscribers, the documents state.

Among the entities that have fire and security alarm monitoring through the village of Cary are the Fox River Grove Public Library, the Fox River Grove Municipal Center, the Cary Post Office and the Fox River Grove Fire Department stations.

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