The village of Riverside is proposing to increase its annual tax levy by 4.95 percent which in total would bring in an estimated $5.3 million to help fund its operations, from police and fire protection to public works and recreation.
The village’s tax levy, which is extended annually each December, is just one of the line items appearing on tax bills sent to local property owners twice a year and represents about 15 percent of a Riverside residential property’s total tax bill.
The Riverside Village Board is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the 2021 tax levy during its meeting on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Township Hall, 27 Riverside Road. The meeting will be broadcast live by Riverside TV at riversidetv.us, on Comcast Channel 16 and U-Verse Channel 99. The village board plans to adopt the tax levy at its meeting on Dec. 2.
Riverside’s proposed 2022 budget estimates expenditures of roughly $10.4 million, so property taxes levied by the village will cover only about half of those costs. The remainder will come from sales tax revenues, fees, fines, state shared taxes and other sources of income.
Non-home rule municipalities in Illinois, like Riverside, operate under the state’s tax laws, which allow local governments to “extend” or increase local property taxes by 5 percent or the level of the consumer price index, whichever is less.
The consumer price index increase for the 2021 tax levy is 1.4 percent. As a result, the village will ultimately see its tax levy request reduced by Cook County to a figure closer to the consumer price index.
For example, the village’s 2020 tax levy request was for $5,177,395. When tax caps were applied to that number, however, it was reduced to $5,066,119. The consumer price index increase in 2020 was 2.3 percent.
Municipalities often ask for more than the consumer price index in order to capture the full value of newly developed property, which is not tax-capped in the first year it’s assessed.
More than half of the property taxes levied in Riverside in 2022 will go toward the cost of police, fire and paramedic services, which account for 65.5 percent of the tax levy. That amount includes a $1.5 million levy to fund Riverside’s police pension obligation, which accounts for 28.2 percent of the tax levy alone.
The village is levying a little more than $1 million for general government services, a shade higher than it levied last year.
The Riverside Public Library, whose tax levy last year included an additional $112,000 to pay the debt service on a $1.5 million bond issue to fund the renovation of the building’s lower level, is proposing a 2021 tax levy increase of 1.3 percent.
While the library board of trustees set the tax levy for library operations, it is rolled into the overall municipal tax levy, which will be submitted to the Cook County Clerk’s Office following adoption in December.