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Local tax freeze coming for Grayslake homeowners

Updated: January 7, 2013 7:15AM

True to their word, Grayslake trustees decided to officially freeze the 2013 municipal property taxes at the same rate as this year.

The Tuesday night action was expected since the board at last month’s committee of the whole expressed unanimous consent for such a move.

“While the village accounts for only about 5 percent of the overall property tax bill, the freeze represents the village’s attempt to do its part on controlling homeowner and business property taxes,” Mayor Rhett Taylor said.

Trustees adopted a 2012 tax levy Tuesday night of $2,955,442, which is equal to the amount the village received this year from the 2011 levy. The levy freezes the village’s 2013 property tax at the 2012 level, Taylor said. He pointed out that a typical annual village property tax bill runs about 5 percent or less.

Taylor said the village’s effective cost-control efforts have kept total spending for the past fiscal year at $19,702,108. This represents a modest increase of less than 1 percent per year over the past decade.

“Since 1987, the village’s share of the property tax bill has declined by 46 percent. This is a result of many years of controlled operating spending,” he said.

Taylor added that during the past decade the village, through attrition, has reduced its full-time non-police positions by 43 percent. He said this was a result of implementing a privatization program where private contractors provide some of the village services instead of hiring permanent full-time village personnel.

Further, the village does not use property taxes for community improvements.

“They are completed on a pay-as-you-go basis, so we don’t have to borrow money to pay for projects, and we are debt free,” he indicated.

Recently, the village implemented an economic development program that is focused on business-oriented services designed to promote local merchants and stimulate the growth of sales tax revenue. But Taylor pointed out that village management still continues to evaluate various operating tasks to find more ways to reduce costs.

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