Kane County Forest Preserve District raises tax levy

  • The levy increase approved Tuesday will generate $198,000 in new tax income for the Kane County Forest Preserve District.

    The levy increase approved Tuesday will generate $198,000 in new tax income for the Kane County Forest Preserve District. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted11/10/2021 5:30 AM

Kane County taxpayers ate one property tax increase Tuesday, but they'll have to wait another few weeks to see if they get a second and third serving.

Kane County Forest Preserve District commissioners approved a 1.4% property tax levy increase to account for inflation and estimated new construction. Commissioner Monica Silva was the lone "no" vote.

 

The increase will net the forest district up to $198,000 in new tax income. It is the maximum increase commissioners could adopt without asking taxpayers for permission via a referendum.

At $7.6 million, the forest preserve district's property tax levy represents a much smaller portion of local tax bills than the county's levy. That might account for why there was no public opposition to the increase.

The same cannot be said for the property tax levy up for a vote Tuesday by the Kane County Board. Forest preserve commissioners serve dual roles as county board members, and they control both property tax levies.

The county board was set to vote on the proposed general fund levy request of $32.7 million that will fund the 2022 budget. The budget promises to address a $16 million deficit with a plan that includes a 2-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase and a late push for a 1.4% property tax increase to account for inflation as well as estimated new construction. That plan brought a flurry of citizens to the podium to urge against creating any additional local tax burdens.

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The 2022 budget also would drain all of the savings in the fund designed to ward off property tax increases and use millions more in federal COVID-19 relief money.

A petition against tax increases with more than 200 signatures represented residents who couldn't attend the meeting.

"Think about the taxpayers of Kane County," said resident Brian Costin. "They don't need more tax increases. Taxpayers need relief."

Geneva resident Kate Bochte said the nearly $200 million in COVID-19 relief money the county received in the past couple of years should be more than enough to address the county's needs.

"If you win the lottery, you shouldn't beg your neighbor who has less for more money for you to squander," she said.

Having heard those comments and received a flood of similar emails, the board voted to postpone the budget and levy votes until 3 p.m. Nov. 30, at the Kane County Government Center, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Geneva. Nov. 30 is the last day of the county's current fiscal year.

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