Flossmoor residents are likely to see a miniscule increase in the village’s portion of the property tax bill that comes out late next year.
Village officials are preparing to approve Flossmoor’s annual tax levy request later this month and the likely amount — $7,454,037 – is just 2.25 percent higher than last year’s number.
According to village projections, Flossmoor’s portion of the tax bill will go up a total of 39 cents for a house with a market value of $200,000. For a house valued at $500,000, the projected increase is $1.07.
The village’s projected 2015 tax rate will drop one-thousandth of one percent, from 3.019 to 3.018.
Village board members are expected to approve the levy request at a special meeting on Dec. 14. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall at 2800 Flossmoor Road.
Tax levy requests must be forwarded to the Cook County Clerk’s office by the end of the year. The final decision on the size of the levy, which represents the amount that a local governmental unit can collect in property taxes, rests with the clerk’s office. Generally, the county trims the final levy amount so the final figure may be closer to $7.289 million, this year’s figure.
Flossmoor is a community that prides itself on its conservative fiscal management and the current levy numbers reflect that approach. After the village board gave a nod to the tentative levy figures at it Nov. 2 meeting, Mayor Paul Braun was quick to point out that the village’s portion of the property tax bill is not going up next year.
Setting the levy is the final piece of the fiscal puzzle that local governments must deal with each year. It is an extremely complicated process and must take into account formulas from the state and county, a community’s overall tax value, the federal Cost of Living Index and laws that may be passed at the last minute by the Illinois General Assembly.
After deciding the final levy amount, county officials will calculate the tax rate for Flossmoor and other local governmental bodies. Tax rates will probably be released early next summer so they can be applied to property tax later in the year.
Village Finance Director Scott Bordui, in making this year’s levy presentation, laid out three scenarios that the village may follow. Under the first option, which he recommended and the board approved, the levy is going up just $164,309.
Last April, board members approved a $23 million village budget for the current fiscal year, which covers all municipal spending in Flossmoor. With only $7.4 million coming from property taxes, the bulk of the budget is financed by other revenue sources, including sales tax, fees, the village’s share of state income taxes and government grants.
Bordui pointed out in his presentation that a sharp decline in Flossmoor’s equalized assessed valuation (EAV) since the 2008 recession continues to impact the village’s finances. Flossmoor’s total EAV represents a percentage of the fair market value of all the residential and business property in the village. Very simply, the tax rate is set when the levy is divided by the EAV. However, the process is much more complicated than one simple mathematical process. The county also applies several other factors to determine the final tax rate.
Flossmoor’s EAV has declined nearly 36 percent in just the last four years, Bordui said. In 2009, the village’s EAV was $310 million, but by last year that figure had fallen to $197 million. As the EAV goes down, the tax rate tends to go up.
The levy projections show only $22,028 in new property being added to Flossmoor’s EAV this year. The village’s long-awaited Meijer superstore, when completed, will boost Flossmoor’s overall property value but the retail complex won’t be added to the tax rolls until next year at the earliest.
Under the proposed levy, Flossmoor will again receive the third highest amount on the local tax bill. This year, the village is receiving 12.7 percent of the total on the tax bill. H-F High School District 233 is collecting 32.7 percent of taxes on the bill and Flossmoor School District 161 receives 32.5 percent of the revenues.