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Article updated: 12/4/2012 4:51 PM

Lisle Township may seek less tax money

By Robert Sanchez

Lisle Township is planning to do something rare for a governmental entity: Ask taxpayers for less money.

The township board is scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to slash its property tax levy for one year, from roughly $2.3 million to $500,000.

Officials say it's possible to do the one-time reduction because of a unique set of circumstances, including the recent sale of a house they had forgotten the township owned.

The township made roughly a $375,000 profit several months ago when it sold the house at 146 N. Sleight St. in Naperville.

Meanwhile, Supervisor Richard Tarulis said he took a closer look at township spending after being appointed in September to replace Charles Clarke, who stepped down to become highway commissioner.

"We're reducing our costs left and right," Tarulis said.

Tarulis said he determined the township could spend down its reserves by about $1 million and still have enough remaining cash to maintain a six-month reserve fund. Tarulis' plan also calls on the township to use money originally set aside for building improvements that can be delayed.

If approved by the township board, the one-time reduction of the property tax levy would save the owner of a $250,000 house about $30 next year, county officials estimate. This year, that same homeowner paid nearly $40 in taxes to Lisle Township.

Tarulis said he is expecting the proposed tax levy to be approved by the township board during its Dec. 12 meeting.

"I would be very surprised if they don't," he said. "Our board is pretty conservative. I don't think they are going to want to levy more than we need."

Tarulis said the plan calls for the township's property tax levy to return to its existing level in 2014.

The levy change won't reduce the township's estimated $2.3 million budget, which is comprised of a town fund and a general assistance fund. The town fund covers salaries, supplies and operations in the supervisor's and assessor's offices.

Tarulis said there are no plans to cut the township's budget for the next fiscal year, which starts April 1. "The budget already is pretty tight," he said.

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