A collaborative effort by the Deerfield Board of Trustees at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting coupled with skillful pencil sharpening by Acting Finance Director Eric Burk could result in a reduction in exces of 10 percent of the Village’s portion of the property tax levy.
Though the potential savings to Deerfield’s taxpayers will not be known until the Board acts at a scheduled public hearing on the levy at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Village Hall, Burk will suggest a reduction of $1,361,226 from the initial $10,140,832.
Earlier: Board Seeks Cut of Tax Levy Proposal
The collaboration began after Burk finished his presentation to the Board Monday and Trustee William Seiden expressed a wish to diminish tax burden on Village residents. He wanted to know if the levy could be reduced and the difference covered by the Village’s cash reserves.
“Sometimes taxes can be a little more when people have higher incomes,” Seiden said referring to the economic downturn of the last four years. “How can we reduce the levy and keep ourselves in a solid financial position.”
After the trustees and Mayor Harriet Rosenthal discussed potential ways to evaluate the budget next year, the discussion focused on ways to offer tax relief to citizens in 2013. .
“We have some pretty large projects coming up,” Trustee Tom Jester said. “We can dig in a little bit (to cash reserve) but we have a lot of needs coming up.”
After Rosenthal promised a “line by line analysis” of next year’s budget, she turned to Burk and asked him to calculate an abatement of a portion of the levy. He went to work and gave Patch the proposed reduction Wednesday.
“We were looking for direction from the Board and we got it,” Burk said. He then determined if all debt service obligations exclusive of the water treatment plant came from cash reserves rather than tax revenue the Village would remain in a solid financial position.
The Village has a policy of maintaining a positive fund balance of 40 percent. He had to make sure Deerfield could abate more than $1 million from the levy and keep that balance. “We’re well within our policy,” he said. “It will still be more than 50 percent.”