Mundelein holds steady on tax levy
Updated: January 28, 2013 3:03PM
MUNDELEIN – Trying to be good stewards, the Mundelein Village Board approved its 2012-13 property tax levy at the same total dollar amount as this year.
The village generated $12.4 million in 2011-12 and later abated $573,225.
Having no pressing needs, Trustee Ed Sullivan made the suggestion during the Dec. 10 board meeting, saying neither the media nor public recognize responsible municipalities.
Trustee Steve Lentz disagreed. He said the board faced an alleged $750,000 budget deficit last year, but it was a false alarm that needs corrected.
“It was suggested that we raise the tax levy by about half a million dollars,” Lentz said. “This board approved that increase. About six months later, we find out what actually happened was a budget surplus of about $3.2 million.”
Lentz credits a construction-related recycling program for generating substantial one-time savings, but maintained that at least $500,000 was generated through over taxing.
“Looking back, I think it’s wrong to have raised the levy in a year where you have a budget surplus,” Lentz said. “It should be corrected. We should contemplate reducing the levy back to the level it was prior to that surplus.”
If the proposed levy passed, Lentz asked that additional revenue be put aside in interest-bearing accounts for important projects the board can agree upon at a later time.
The levy did pass 5-1. Lentz was the only opponent.
Village Administrator John Lobaito said all surplus revenue is put aside in designated accounts to accrue interest, but declined to comment further because the source of the $3.2 million surplus remains highly debated among the trustees.
As for individual rates, Lobaito said some residents might experience minor increases or decreases depending on if their property gained or lost value.
“It would not be significant,” Lobaito said.
According to village documents, about $6.5 million, more than half of the levy, would go into the general corporate fund. Approximately $1.6 million will go toward police and fire pensions, while $1.3 million will go toward repaying debts and just over $1 million will be used on road and bridge improvements.