Facing a potential property tax increase of 32 percent, and the asked and Finance Director Robert Fialkowski to find ways to ease the taxpayer burden at Monday’s public hearing.
Fialkowski told the Board the Village’s portion of the 2011 property tax levy, which is paid by property owners in 2012, would increase from $396.34 to $584.90 per year for a home valued at $500,000 in 2008 to pay for scheduled infrastructure improvements.
After Board members debated the merits of higher taxes, delaying some projects and using the Village’s cash reserves, Rosenthal suggested a compromise of a partial reduction to the proposed levy.
“When you strip out everything that is not water reclamation it is $900,000 of debt (that must be serviced),” Rosenthal said. “If we compromise on this the rest of the capital projects can be pay as you go.”
, who opposed the current budget, was the first person to speak after Fialkowski finished his presentation. “The use of the surplus to reduce the tax burden seems like a no brainer,” Seiden said.
Deerfield currently has a reserve of 65 percent of its operating expenses against a target amount of 40 percent, according to Fialkowski.
was more reticent about a property tax abatement because of his perceived need to complete planned projects.
“It’s not going to happen on money needed to complete the (water) treatment plant,” Jester said. “I’m not in favor of delaying but I agree we should pay as you go.”
Rosenthal recognized the strong effort of the Village to improve its infrastructure and proposed balancing it against the need to ease the taxpayer’s burden in less prosperous economic times.
“We have been very aggressive but we can take a step back,” Rosenthal said. “We are mindful of the money we want to save for our households and we have an obligation to do so.”
The Board then asked Fialkowski and Street to take a closer look at ways to keep the 2011 levy at a lower level than proposed. They will present their work to the Village Board Dec.19 when it is likely the 2011 levy will be approved.
In other action, the Board approved a new ordinance which more specifically regulates when a domestic animal like a dog can be classified as dangerous or vicious. Police will have the authority to require the muzzling of pets which have attacked people or other animals.
Repeated occurrences give the police the authority to require the animal be removed from the Village. Assurances were given owner’s rights would be respected.