The village of Brookfield will seek to extend its 2021 property tax by 5 percent, of which nearly $2 million is being earmarked to fund village operations outside of police and fire protection, a 21-percent increase compared to the 2020 tax levy.

Still, taxes levied for village operations outside of public safety still represent just 16 percent of Brookfield’s total 2021 tax levy request of $12.2 million. 

The proposed levy for police and fire protection, plus pension obligations for those departments, amounts to more than $7.5 million – about 62 percent of the total tax levy extension request.

The requested levy increases for general operations and public safety are tempered somewhat by a reduction in the requested tax levy to pay debt service, which is about $130,500 less than in 2020.

Village trustees are expected to pass the 2021 tax levy increase at their meeting on Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. Prior to passage, the village board will conduct a public hearing on the proposed levy where members of the public can provide comment.

While the village seeks a 5-percent levy extension, it is unlikely to collect the full amount due to the state’s tax cap law for non-home rule municipalities like Brookfield. The law limits tax levy increases for non-home rule communities to 5 percent or the level of the consumer price index, whichever is less.

For 2021, the consumer price index is 1.4 percent, meaning Cook County will approve a levy closer to the consumer price index. For example, in 2020 the village requested a total levy of $11.99 million, but was granted a little more than $11.6 million.

That reduction mainly affected the amount levied for general operations. Instead of levying $1.96 million for those purposes, the village ended up levying $1.63 million for general operations.

The reason the village asks for a levy in excess of the consumer price index is that levying taxes on any newly developed property – commercial, multifamily or single-family construction – is not limited by tax caps the first year those assessments hit the tax rolls.

However, if the village doesn’t try to capture the full value of that new development, it loses the ability to do so in the future, because tax caps apply after that first year.

Brookfield won’t know the full extent of the tax levy, and by how much it will be reduced, until the Cook County calculates the total value of new development in mid-2022.