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updated: 12/3/2013 9:51 AM

St. Charles calculates lower tax levy, property values

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  • St. Charles officials are contemplating a new tax levy that will keep property taxes flat for residents with property values that decrease enough.

       St. Charles officials are contemplating a new tax levy that will keep property taxes flat for residents with property values that decrease enough.
    James Fuller | Staff Photographer

 
 

The proposed new tax levy for St. Charles will be good to owners of property with declining value in 2014. But owners with rising property values would see a larger city tax bill in 2014, according to a tentative plan before aldermen.

City Finance Director Chris Minick announced Monday night that he expects taxable property values to drop another 4.5 percent in 2014. It is the fifth straight year values will plunge.

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But the rare good news with that devaluation is that it means the average homeowner won't pay any additional property taxes to the city in 2014.

City officials would collect about $21.8 million in the proposed levy. That's a 6.4 percent decrease in the amount of property tax money collected by the city compared to the most recent levy.

Minick said the decrease in property values and the city's tax levy will essentially cancel each other out for the average property owner, even though the city's tax rate must increase to collect the money called for by the levy.

"As long as your property value went down, the increasing tax rate of the city would not result in an increase in your property taxes," Minick said. "This is on average, of course. It is possible that a person could experience either an increase in their property value or a decline that is not as great as the 4.5 percent citywide decline. That person's tax bill would increase."

In other words, as long as the value of a residents' property drops by 4.5 percent or more, they won't pay any more taxes to the city than they did last year. Any owner of property that doesn't hit that level of devaluation will pay more.

The owner of a $300,000 home paid about $877 in property taxes to the city in the current levy.

Aldermen must take a final vote on the proposed levy on Dec. 16 before the dollar amount is locked in.

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