Without dissent, River Forest OKs tax levy

Village says increase will average 1.9 percent

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By Igor Studenkov

Contributing Reporter

River Forest's village board unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2019 tax levy during its Nov. 25 meeting. 

Overall, the amount levied increased by 2.64 percent. While the way it would affect individual property owners will vary, the village estimates it would average out to a 1.9 percent increase. Because most of the village's tax levy is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), the increase is largely attributable to the increase in consumer price index increases and an estimated $5 million in new construction.

Aside from the levy for the Village of River Forest corporate fund, the village levies for public safety pension payments and debt service. And, as is usually the case with municipal libraries, the village levies property taxes on behalf of the River Forest Public Library. 

The PTELL cap is calculated using a formula that factors in the consumer price index, the equalized assessed value of property for the past two years and revenue from new construction. Since the new construction amount is estimated, the actual levy may wind up smaller than the cap, but taxing bodies tend to levy all the way up to the cap to ensure that, if the levy is more than a cap, they won't lose any money. 

Out of those levies, the only one that has seen any declines is the debt service levy, which will decrease by 2.9 percent, and the portion of the firefighter pension levy that isn't subject to PTELL caps, which was decreased by 0.16 percent.  

The police pension levy and the capped portion of the fire pension levy will see the highest increases, going up by $35,805 (2.33 percent) and $85,262 (6.33 percent), respectively. The village is levying what was recommended by the Lauterbach & Amen accounting firm, which provides actuarial services for the village. The numbers are higher than what the state law requires by $267,125 and $275,149. respectively. 

The levy for the village's general fund will increase by $67,213 (1.81 percent). Finally, the library levy will increase by $35,860 (2.8 percent).

The village board approved the tax levy unanimously and without any discussion. 

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