For the first time in recent history, the average Kane County tax bill will shrink instead of rise.
Local taxpayers can thank debt measures taken within the footprint of Elgin Township for a tax occurrence so rare that Kane County Treasurer David Rickert has never seen it in his nearly 16 years in office.
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Kane County's biggest tax bills1. Simon/Chelsea Chicago Dev. (Chicago Premium Outlets, Aurora): $5.02 million
2. Liberty Illinois LP (Kaplan Distribution Center, Aurora): $3.87 million
3. Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.: $2.92 million
4. Geneva Commons, LLC: $2.73 million
5. Algonquin Commons, LLC: $2.31 million
6. Spring Hill Mall, LLC: $2.09 million
7. John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc.: $1.77 million
8. Q Center, LLC: $1.29 million
9. ALDI, Inc: $1.22 million
10. Regency Canterfield, LLC: $1.15 million
Where the taxes comes fromResidential: 74.9 percent
Commercial: 15 percent
Industrial: 8.3 percent
Farmland: 1.9 percent
Railroad: 0.2 percent
Where the taxes goSchools: 68.2 percent
Cities: 9.9 percent
Forest preserve/parks: 7.0 percent
County: 4.5 percent
Libraries: 3.1 percent
Fire districts: 3.0 percent
Townships: 2.6 percent
TIF/Other: 1.5 percent
Source: Kane County treasurer
"We'll probably never see this again," Rickert said. "It's very small, but I was very excited to see it."
The drop in the average tax bill is indeed very small at 0.02 percent. In real dollars, the average Kane County tax bill will be $6,237 in 2014. That compares to an average bill of $6,245 last year, an $8 difference.
The reduction, Rickert said, can be traced to action taken by taxing bodies in Elgin Township to reduce bond debt.
Elgin is the largest community in Elgin Township. Colleen Lavery, the city's chief financial officer, said city officials have sought out opportunities to refund bonds and take advantage of recent lower interest rates. Officials refunded bonds in 2010, 2012 and last year. The result will be nearly $3.8 million saved in interest payments for the remaining life of those bonds.
City officials have also kept the property tax rate flat for more than 10 years.
Elgin Area School District U-46 also did its part by reducing its bond levy by 1.8 percent compared to the previous year.
School board members did approve a nearly 3 percent property tax levy increase in November.
The overall drop in the average tax bill doesn't mean every taxpayer will see a reduction in their amount of property taxes owed.
As many as seven of the top 10 taxpaying entities will see their bills increase in 2014. But the total value of taxes collected in the county will drop by about $1.77 million.
The average tax bill is also different depending on which township a Kane County resident lives in.
For homes valued at $300,000, the highest average tax bills are in Aurora, Rutland and Sugar Grove townships.
The lowest average tax bills for a $300,000 home are in Campton, St. Charles and Geneva townships.