Kane County towns, fire districts seek tax increases Tuesday
Voters in two Kane County towns and two fire districts will weigh in Tuesday on referendum questions seeking funding for a variety of governmental services, including road repairs, fiber optic cables, legal expenses, and hiring firefighters.
In Sleepy Hollow, officials are seeking a roughly 82 percent increase in the village's property tax rate to collect an additional $428,571 yearly from the more than 3,300 residents.
That's nearly double what residents pay now. If approved, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay roughly $316 more in property taxes in 2016.
Officials plan to use the extra revenue to replenish the village's five-year capital fund -- expected to be depleted by 2018 -- and for road improvements. A similar request failed last November by a 3 to 1 margin.
Officials say the money is needed to meet long-term expenses, such as buying squad cars, radios and other police department equipment; dump trucks, snowplows, salt spreaders, back hoes or mowers for public works; for village hall maintenance, upgrading heating and cooling, and computer and phone systems; and road repairs, street and park improvements.
Over the next four years, officials anticipate the cost for replacing trucks at $200,000, police vehicles at $107,000, and long needed flood control projects at $75,000. The village also cannot afford to repave its 22 miles of streets with state motor fuel tax revenues alone, which in 2014 was roughly $77,000, officials said.
The 2015 village operating budget includes $1.4 million in expenditures. The village has roughly $2.1 million in reserves, of which roughly $970,000 is earmarked for water and sewer upgrades.
Gilberts fiber optics
The village seeks to borrow $5 million to build a fiber optics cable network accessible to every home and business in the village. If approved, the tax increase would amount to about 1.8 percent on most tax bills, or about $150 yearly for a $250,000 home. As new homes are built over time and added to the tax rolls, everyone's tax share would decrease.
Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District
District trustees are seeking a tax increase to attract and pay better quality staff, improve response times with an additional station and upgrade equipment.
It is the first time since the district -- covering Kane and DuPage counties -- broke off a longtime service contract with St. Charles in 2011 and hired a private provider that it is seeking a voter-approved tax increase. Under the proposal, the owner of a $100,000 home will pay the district $48 more through the annual property tax bill. That increase won't hit all at once, but instead, each year for the next five years the bill will increase between $8 and $12.
Burlington Community Fire Protection District
The district, which serves Kane and DeKalb counties, is seeking approval to levy a new tax at 0.145 percent of the equalized assessed value of taxable property for tort liability purposes.
If approved, the district will collect $701,614 under the new rate -- an increase from $593,959.
The owner of a $200,000 home would pay roughly $96 more in property taxes in 2016.
• Daily Herald staff writers Elena Ferrarin and James Fuller contributed to this story.