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updated: 9/21/2011 5:07 AM

Carpentersville trustees won't give up taxing powers

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One Carpentersville trustee's proposal to strip taxing powers away from the entire board was dead on arrival Tuesday night.

Trustee Doug Marks wanted to reserve that taxing power for residents to approve through a referendum, but there was not enough board support to turn his idea into an ordinance.

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Village President Ed Ritter and Trustee Kay Teeter said giving up that authority would hurt Carpentersville if they had to wait for the next election to plug a budget deficit.

"It was very critical last year," Teeter said.

Village attorney James Rhodes took issue with the portion of the draft ordinance that if approved, would prevent future boards from overturning it. Rhodes cited case law that said one board cannot bind a future board to its decisions.

Trustees Paul Humpfer -- Marks' running mate in the spring elections -- and Pat Schultz were the only ones backing Marks.

Humpfer said the ordinance would foster additional transparency and better planning for the board, elements he says has been lacking lately, especially with respect to a water rate study that recommended higher rates.

In the last two years, the board has imposed a pair of tax levies. It issued $20 million in bonds last year to pay for street repairs and a public works building, then raised the property tax levy to pay it off. In 2009, officials raised the levy to pay for police pensions.

Humpfer said the new law would force the village to "plan for those times when you know you're going to be lean," instead of turning to the tax payers.

During the discussion, Marks also said that if the village had a residency requirement for its senior staff then they wouldn't, in his view, be so quick to "pull the trigger" and suggest higher taxes.

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