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updated: 12/4/2013 12:12 PM

Buffalo Grove approves levy, balanced budget up next

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Buffalo Grove trustees this week approved a tax levy for next year only $51,000 higher than this year's levy, part of a proposed $63.1 million balanced budget the village board is expected to pass later this month.

The budget, which trustees will vote on after a public hearing Dec. 16, calls for 218 full-time and 79 part-time/seasonal positions, bringing the village under 300 workers for the first time in more than a decade. Officials say the village will be down 11 positions through attrition.

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Trustee Jeffrey Berman congratulated village staff for preparing a balanced budget with minimal impact on taxpayers under "less than ideal circumstances."

"The entire village staff has done yeoman's work this year," he said.

Village Manager Dane Bragg previously said staff worked hard to avoid a projected $1.6 million deficit by streamlining village services through centralized purchasing, updating fees and fines to be competitive with other communities, and other measures.

Finance Director Scott Anderson said the estimated tax base of the village is more than $1.5 billion, about the same as last year. By comparison, the tax base for the 2012 levy, collected this year, decreased by nearly 6 percent. This, he said, is an indication that property values may be stabilizing.

Anderson said the levy will be apportioned in both Lake and Cook counties based on the percentage values calculated by the Illinois Department of Revenue. For 2013, the division is 23.08 percent for Cook and 76.92 for Lake. Based on these allocations, the pre-abatement tax rate will come to about 94.4 cents per $100 of assessed value. The prior year was 93.5 cents per $100.

Of the $14.8 million levied, more than $7.6 million will be for corporate purposes, including police and fire protection. The remainder will be for debt service and pensions. The amount of debt service, Anderson said, decreased from $1.3 million to $1.1 million, because of the retirement of a 2003 bond issue.

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