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Howard board favors keeping tax rate constant

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

HOWARD – In the interest of keeping the property tax rate for village purposes constant at $3.92 per $1,000, the Howard village board voted 5-3 Tuesday, Oct. 22, to reduce the capital projects fund levy by $165,000.

Trustee Ray Suennen made the motion to take that amount out of next year’s budget earmarked for the future reconstruction of Lineville Road and then add it to the 2020 budget.

Being that the Lineville Road reconstruction is years away, Suennen said the reserve fund for that project would still add up to being the same without having the tax rate bounce up and down after the planned reassessment in the village next year.

“They are many citizens that get concerned when (the tax rate) bounces up,” he said.

Suennen was joined by Village President Burt McIntyre and trustees Chris Nielsen, Scott Beyer and Craig McAllister voting in favor of the motion, while trustees Cathy Hughes, John Muraski and Adam Lemorande were opposed. Trustee Ron Bredael was absent.

By reducing the capital projects fund levy by around $165,000 to around $1.321 million, the village’s total proposed tax levy for the 2019 budget is around $6.1 million, compared to around $6.147 million from the previous year, according to figures provided by Village Clerk Chris Haltom.

Those figures also show the village’s tax rate for the 2019 budget is based on an assessment ratio of 91.4 percent of the property value.

With an assessment ratio projection of 100.1 percent following the reassessment, the village’s total assessed value is estimated to increase by almost $267 million to around $1.92 billion for the 2020 budget.

Based on that higher higher estimated assessed value, which would be factored into the 2020 budget, the total tax levy is projected to increase to around $6.554 million, but the tax rate would drop by about 30 cents per $1,000 to $3.62.

Board members took more than an hour with village staff discussing the proposed 2019 budget, particularly as it related to capital projects.

As drafted, the capital projects fund levy would drop from the current $1.329 million to around $1.154 for the 2019 budget.

Village Administrator Paul Evert said a public hearing on the 2019 budget is scheduled for Nov. 12 with final approval planned for the board’s Nov. 26 meeting.

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