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updated: 12/7/2012 4:04 PM

West Dundee prepared to raise levy by 10 percent

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Citing a need to replace aging equipment and vehicles, West Dundee authorities are prepared to raise the upcoming property tax levy for the first time since 2009.

The proposal is to raise the levy by 10 percent from $3 million to $3.3 million. If the board approves the tax hike, the tax rate will increase from $1.15 to $1.40 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. That means the owner of a $225,000 home would pay $89 extra next year, Village Manager Joe Cavallaro said.

While West Dundee is home to Spring Hill Mall and several big box stores, the sales tax revenues have dropped precipitously the last decade, which forced the village to delay replacing equipment and vehicles. In the last five years, annual sales tax receipts have fallen from $2.9 million to $1.9 million, Cavallaro said.

It also didn't help that Wal-Mart in neighboring East Dundee reneged on plans to relocate in West Dundee. Since 2008, village leaders had been banking on $750,000 in annual sales tax from the deal, but those hopes were dashed earlier this summer after Wal-Mart announced it would set up shop in Carpentersville.

"That's why we've held the line for the last three years," Cavallaro said.

In West Dundee, the tax levy finances the village's operating fund, capital fund, insurance, the police and fire department pensions, Social Security contributions and the retirement fund for municipal workers.

With the extra $300,000 the increase would generate next year, the village would use $250,000 to fund a vehicle and equipment replacement program. The remaining $50,000 would pay increased costs for personnel and operations within the village -- there are now 54 full-time employees as opposed to 65 employees in 2006.

The board is scheduled to take a vote on the property tax hike Dec. 17.

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