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updated: 4/17/2013 12:24 PM

Schaumburg expects to lower property tax again

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Schaumburg's proposed 2013-14 balanced budget projects lowering the village's property tax levy another 1 percent at the end of the year while maintaining the village's roads and existing services.

Since the unpopular 2009 decision to impose Schaumburg's first property tax, village officials have managed to reduce it by some degree every year as the economy and other sources of revenue have improved.

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"It's something that we pledged to do," Mayor Al Larson said. "People expect us to do it because we pledged to do it. It's easy to talk about fiscal responsibility and not do it. We're doing it."

While gradually increasing levies are a fact of life for many municipalities with limited sources of revenue outside property taxes, Schaumburg's experience has been the opposite.

The levy was lowered by 4.4 percent in 2010, 6.1 percent in 2011, 1 percent in 2012 and now possibly another 1 percent at the end of 2013.

Though a 9 percent sales tax is levied in Schaumburg, the village itself receives only 2 percent, village officials said. One percent is the home rule sales tax while the other 1 percent is reimbursed from the state's share. Home rule sales tax does not collect from grocery, drug and licensed vehicle purchases.

The proposed budget to begin May 1 estimates the village will receive $21.4 million in home rule sales tax revenue over the next 12 months -- a 3 percent increase from the current year's projected receipts.

A 3 percent increase also is estimated for the state sales tax in the year ahead, for $31.3 million.

Schaumburg is budgeting $24.5 million on capital improvements through April 30, 2014, of which $11.2 million will be for road improvements. An additional $8.8 million from grants will make the total amount spent on village roads $20 million.

Though the improving economy has helped the village bounce back from the depths of the recession, continued high unemployment and Illinois' fiscal crisis lead Schaumburg officials to expect only slow growth in the year ahead.

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