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updated: 6/14/2011 5:31 PM

Impact of Kane forest preserve tax increase lower than expected

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Kane County residents will see a smaller increase on their property tax bills than originally envisioned by the passage of the forest preserve district's $30 million tax increase.

Voters approved the tax increase in April. The money will allow the forest preserve district to add about 2,000 acres to the district's holdings. The tax increase was expected to cost the owner of a home with a $300,000 market value about $14.76 per year more in property taxes.

But in a highly competitive bidding process among six organizations, the forest preserve district received a better deal on the interest for its bonds than expected. At 3.9302 percent interest, the district and its taxpayers will save about $2.2 million in interest over the life of the bonds. That works out to about a 5 percent savings on the impact per household. In other words, a home with a $300,000 market value will now pay about $13.99 more in property taxes.

The better interest rate comes, in part, as the result of the district receiving a favorable bond rating report just before the bidding of the bonds. The district was upgraded from AA to AA+, putting it in the top 33 percent of organizations to receive a rating. District staff said the better bond rating is a direct result of its stable reserve funds and passage of a balanced budget.