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updated: 12/18/2013 5:44 AM

Special meeting for proposed tax hike in Newport Township

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Registered voters in Newport Township in northeastern Lake County will have a say today on a proposal to substantially increase taxes for the township road district.

The special meeting of electors will be at 6 p.m. at the Wadsworth village hall, 14155 W. Wadsworth Road.

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Voters will determine whether property taxes of $438,978 should be levied by the road district for 2013. That represents a 583 percent increase over the $64,252 levied in 2012. The increase would appear on tax bills received in 2014.

"It could be pretty contentious. We're thinking there could be a fairly large crowd," said Beth Hartford, a township trustee the past eight years, who opposes the measure. She said the higher tax was voted out by trustees in April 2012.

"We need people to come out to vote their piece because otherwise they won't be represented," Hartford said. The meeting could be moved if extra space is needed, she added.

The petition to increase taxes was brought by Mark Kirschhoffer, chief of the Newport Township Fire Protection District. He could not be reached Tuesday.

The agenda for the special meeting includes an explanation of the purpose of meeting and discussion of referendum.

A Truth in Taxation public hearing is scheduled to follow the meeting of electors at 6:45 p.m., at the same location. A public hearing is legally required when a proposed tax increase is more than 5 percent of the previous year levy.

The regular township board meeting follows at 7 p.m. Adopting the township levy and road district levy ordinances are on the agenda for discussion and potential action under new business.

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