On Monday night, the North Riverside Village Board unanimously decided, once again, to hold the line on property taxes and not increase its annual property tax levy. This will be the 23rd year in a row the village has not raised property taxes.
The board decided that even though it was allowed by law to increase the property tax levy by about $16,000, it would not do so.
If the village had increased the property tax levy by the maximum allowed by law it would have resulted in an increase of only about 95 cents to the tax bill for the owner a house worth $180,000, the average value of a home in North Riverside, Finance Director Sue Scarpiniti said.
“It’s kind of crazy to ask our residents for a dollar,” said Trustee Tom Corgiat, who is the village board’s finance chairman. “I’d be embarrassed to ask our residents for a dollar.”
Both trustees who are running for mayor next spring, Hubert Hermanek Jr. and Rocco DeSantis, also said that they didn’t want to raise property taxes.
“I don’t want to raise the taxes,” DeSantis said in a finance committee meeting preceding the village board meeting.
“We’ve had it this way for 25 years,” Hermanek said. “We can come up with $16,000.”
North Riverside can get away with not raising property taxes, because about 65 percent of the village’s revenue comes from sales taxes.
“The village has never historically relied on property taxes to fund village operations,” Scarpiniti said.
So the village will levy $500,006 in taxes, roughly the same amount it levied last year.
Tax cap laws allowed the village to raise its levy by 3 percent this year, the largest amount a non-home rule community could raise its levy in eight years, Scarpiniti said.
However, just because the village is holding its tax levy constant doesn’t mean that North Riverside residents won’t see their property tax bills increase next year.
That’s because only about 2 percent of a North Riverside’s resident’s property tax payments goes to the village, Scarpiniti said. The rest goes to other taxing districts, such as schools, which take about 80 percent of a typical property tax bill for a North Riverside resident, Scarpiniti said.
According to Scarpiniti the average property tax bill in North Riverside is about $4,000, and only about $89 of that goes to the village.
By not increasing the levy this year, the village reduces the amount that it can increase its levy in the future, because each year’s increase is determined from the previous year’s base.
“It would lower the village’s ability to capture dollars next year,” Scarpiniti said.