Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Village of Schaumburg passes property tax

Schaumburg passes first property tax
December 23, 2009
As expected, Schaumburg trustees voted unanimously Tuesday night to impose the village's first property tax, adding about $252 to the tax bill for a home with an equalized assessed value of $50,000.
The vote left both residents and officials frustrated.
"I have no say-so in what you do with that money, I never did," said resident Joe Librizzi, one of eight residents from a crowd of 50 that spoke against the new tax.
Librizzi said the village's financial problems are, "just mismanagement of money," adding that officials were wrong to expect homeowners to bail them out.
"It's not fair -- it's not right," Librizzi said.
Officials counter that the prolonged recession has slashed the revenues the village has always relied on -- income and sales taxes -- at the same time costs for personnel, pensions and street repairs keep rising -- despite continuing cost-cutting efforts.
"We've cut $26 million since 2001 -- 98 full time positions, 38 part time," village manager Ken Fritz said after Tuesday's meeting. "When people say we have to cut more, a lot of those cuts would have to come from police, fire and public works."
The new tax, which will show up on tax bills next fall, is expected to raise about $24 million, with $15 million of that coming from owners of commercial and business properties.
The money will cover next year's anticipated budget deficit of $17.4 million and cover about a quarter of next year's general fund spending.
In 2011, residents will see some relief as village vehicle stickers are eliminated and the village picks up costs for single-family residence garbage service.
Some residents are skeptical that those cuts will keep pace with the new tax.
"You've never said you're going to stop this [new tax] when things get better," Librizzi told trustees Tuesday.
-- Graydon Megan