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Schaumburg to avoid raising property tax levy despite unprecedented difficulty

by Eric Peterson, Daily Herald

Since the village of Schaumburg's first property tax levy was created in 2009 amid the Great Recession, the annual amount has either gone down or stayed put every year.

While they're planning to keep the levy flat again this year at $19.5 million, village officials including Mayor Tom Dailly agree this has been the most difficult year so far to maintain that practice.

Among the financial factors the village is facing is the loss of $26.2 million in consumer taxes because of the pandemic and a $570,000 increase in contributions to fire and police pensions.

"We received $9.8 million from the federal government that didn't make that up," Dailly said of the village's revenue losses. "I believe we didn't get our fair share from the federal government."

Nevertheless, village staff members were able to find a way to adhere to the village board's direction and recommend a levy of the same amount as the past two years.

In 2019, just before the pandemic, the village had reduced the previous levy by 5% after paying off its only bond debt that was being funded by property taxes.

With Schaumburg's finances traditionally tied to the health of the consumer economy, Dailly said he hopes further recovery might make next year's levy decision easier. Relatively new sources of revenue from video gambling and licensed cannabis sales might also contribute, he added.

A factor in the calculation of property taxes outside the village's control is the nearly 5% decrease in the equalized assessed value of property across Cook County, Schaumburg Finance Director Lisa Petersen said.

The decrease was partly offset by a 10.5% increase in the equalization factor set by the Illinois Department of Revenue.

The combination leads to a projected 2% decrease in the tax rate, which would cause the owner of a median-priced, $300,000 home in Schaumburg to pay $37 more to the village on their next tax bill despite the village levy remaining the same, Petersen said.

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