Despite decline in sales taxes, Schaumburg plans no property tax increase
Schaumburg officials are recommending keeping the village's upcoming property tax levy at the same amount as last year, despite the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to a community reliant on the economy and sales taxes.
If the full village board agrees, it will maintain its streak of having never increased the levy since it was introduced at the end of 2009 in response to the Great Recession. That original $23.7 million levy has been gradually reduced by 17.7% to $19.5 million over the years.
Last year, the village reduced the previous levy by 5% after paying off its only bond debt that was being funded by property taxes.
But this year, a number of factors are converging for administrators' recommendation for a flat levy.
"Right now, we're trying to keep pace with the reduction in revenues," Assistant Village Manager Paula Hewson said.
However, some of that is being done with cost reductions that include the temporary furlough of most of the Cultural Services Department staff working at the Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts.
A desire to ease residents' financial burden during the pandemic was another factor in prioritizing a flat levy in 2020, Hewson said.
"We're being good stewards of the taxpayers' dollars," she added.
Hewson pointed out that Schaumburg continues to see an increase in the value of some properties, most visibly in the redevelopment on and near the Veridian project north of the I-90 tollway along Meacham Road.
As a result, most residents will pay less in property taxes to the village, as the $19.5 million is shared proportionately among a higher level of property values in Schaumburg, Hewson said.
The flat levy was unanimously recommended by the village board's finance, legal and general government committee last week.
Trustee George Dunham, who chairs the committee, said no suggestion of a levy increase was made by staff despite 2020's economic climate.
"If that had come up, I would have spoken against it," Dunham said.
The full village board will be asked to accept the committee's recommendation Tuesday night. But it won't be until Nov. 10 that a tentative levy is formally set for legal notices, and not until Dec. 8 that a final levy will be adopted by the board.