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updated: 12/20/2011 9:16 PM

Aurora decreases property tax levy

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Aurora's property tax levy will decrease about $4 million for the 2011 tax year, which officials say could result in a drop in the amount homeowners owe the city.

The $72.9 million levy includes money for the city's general fund, firefighters pension fund and police pension fund and also for the Aurora Public Library.

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The levy is a 6 percent decrease from the $77.6 million the city brought in from property taxes in the 2010 tax year, according to historical tax levy data prepared by Finance Director Brian Caputo.

The city council unanimously approved the levy Tuesday night at a meeting Mayor Tom Weisner did not attend.

In previous discussions of the tax levy and the city's budget, Weisner said he and his staff were careful to ensure the levy would not just remain level but decrease this year.

Under the levy, the owner of a home with an assessed value of $180,000 would owe the city $70 less in property taxes this year than the owner of a home at the same value would have last year, Caputo said.

While the city's levy is decreasing, assessed home values in Aurora also are expected to decrease.

Caputo said the projected drops in assessed value vary among the four counties -- Kane, DuPage, Kendall and Will -- in which Aurora residents live.

But an average of those estimates shows assessed home values decreasing about 5.5 percent, he said.

The Aurora Public Library's component of the levy is about $9.5 million, a 5 percent decrease from its portion of the 2010 levy.

The library is developing designs for a new main library building to be built downtown, and while some money is set aside in Aurora's 2012 budget for the new building, funds from the library's portion of the levy won't go toward construction, Caputo said.

The new main library is likely to be funded mainly through bonds, according to library and city officials.

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