Forest Park residents who see a big increase in their property tax bills next year will not be able to blame village hall. Following the pattern of previous years, residents will see only a slight increase on the village portion of their property tax bills next year after adoption of the annual tax levy by the Forest Park Village Council Monday.
No residents commented on the levy at the public hearing that preceded the vote.
The levy calls for $5,263,243 to be raised in property taxes for the fiscal year from May 1, 2016, to April 30, 2017, an increase over the $5,223,175 requested for the fiscal year from May 1, 2015, to April 30, 2016.
In response to a question from Mayor Anthony Calderone, village Finance Director Letitia Olmstead estimated the levy will generate $36,000 in “new money,” which Calderone said is “not much in the grand scheme of things.”
Village officials have said in previous years that the impact of an increase that small on residents’ property tax bills will be minimal once the difference is spread across the village.
He also noted that the village portion of the average village homeowner’s property tax bill is not as significant as portions for education, specifically Forest Park Elementary School District 91 and Proviso High School District 209.
The council also approved the annual tax levy for the Forest Park Public Library, which falls under the auspices of the village but is governed separately. The library levy for 2016-17 is $1,752,473, a slight decrease over the levy for 2015-16 of $1,787,708, impacting residents’ property tax bills even less.
In addition, the village council on Monday passed two additional levy-related ordinances, one directing the Cook County clerk to calculate separate limiting rates for the village and for the library and the other directing the county clerk to reduce the corporate fund portion of the village’s levy if the overall amount requested needs to be reduced.
The village and the library are both subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, which limits property tax levy increases to 5 percent or the consumer price increase, whichever is lower. This year, the tax cap is 0.07 percent, which is the consumer price increase.
Of the village’s levy request, $1,134,475 is for the Office of Public Affairs, which includes $1,033,800 for the Police Department, and $3,142,768 for the Office of Accounts and Finance, which includes $1,020,000 for the Fire Department.