Palatine OKs 3.82% property tax levy hike

Palatine property owners will pay more in taxes to support village government next year.

Village council members Monday night approved a 3.82 percent tax levy hike and a $117 million budget for 2018, each by a 4-1 vote. Officials said higher ambulance fees included in the budget for extra revenue led to a reduction from an originally proposed 4.26 property tax increase.

Documents show the revenue generated from the 3.82 percent property tax levy increase will be used exclusively to offset $540,000 in police and fire employee pension costs, "a raiding of local government money by the state" projected to total $300,000 and a new $85,000 fee Springfield will charge to collect taxes.

Councilman Tim Millar was the lone objector to the tax levy increase and the budget. While complimenting work administrators did on the budget, he said he would have preferred to address potential reductions "sooner rather than later" in an attempt to free more money for escalating public pension costs.

"Because of that pension position, it's just untenable," Millar said after Monday's session. "There is no way to solve it, and by raising (the tax levy), it doesn't solve it, either."

Village Manager Reid Ottesen said no one took lightly nor looked forward to recommending the property tax hike during the budget process. Councilman Scott Lamerand added enough "discomfort" was shown to indicate compromises were made for the budget.

"I think that there's anxiety on all sides of these issues, quite frankly," Lamerand said. "I don't think anybody is comfortable with all of it."

An owner of a $400,000 market value home will pay an extra $37 to the village in 2018 with the 3.82 percent property tax levy hike. A village estimate shows an owner of a $219,900 market value home will send an additional $28 to Palatine government.

Palatine will charge $750 for residents and $1,000 for nonresidents who need ambulance service next year, with private insurance or Medicare typically paying the bills. Under the current escalating-fee system, basic life support starts at $446 for residents and $638 for nonresidents.

Officials have said new alternative revenue sources, such as a natural gas usage tax, should be explored.

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