Local

Crystal Lake City Council approves 3.86% increase in property tax levy

Crystal Lake City Manager Gary Mayerhofer (left), Mayor Aaron Shepley (center) and City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas listen to discussion at an Oct. 1 Crystal Lake city council meeting.
Crystal Lake City Manager Gary Mayerhofer (left), Mayor Aaron Shepley (center) and City Clerk Nick Kachiroubas listen to discussion at an Oct. 1 Crystal Lake city council meeting.

The Crystal Lake City Council approved a property tax levy of $17,729,805 at its meeting Wednesday night.

This is an increase of 3.86% over last year’s tax levy, which was $17,071,075.

The city maintained a zero levy for general operations, including city administration, police, community development and public works. These will continue to be supported primarily through sales and income tax revenues, according to city staff. Crystal Lake has not levied a property tax for general operations since 1997. Because of this, although there is an increase in the levy, the tax rate is expected to have a decrease of 2.04%, which city officials said will mitigate the effect of the tax levy.

“I’m proud of the fact that we maintained zero for our tax levy for general purposes,” Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley said. “[It is] certainly unique in McHenry County. “

Shepley added that he also is happy about the decrease in the tax rate of 2.04%, which he attributed to new growth in the city.

A resident with a $200,000 home, if their net taxable amount of a property in tax year 2018 remains the same for tax year 2019, is estimated to see a slight decrease in their 2019 tax bill. If a resident with a $200,000 home had an increase in the net taxable amount of their property in tax year 2018 equal to the overall increase in the city’s equalized assessed value of 6.02% for tax year 2019, the city portion of their 2019 property tax bill is estimated to increase by $3.34 a month, or $40.08 a year.

The city receives about 10% of the annual property tax bill amounts. Its tax levy funds are the police pension fund, the firefighters’ pension fund, the fire rescue fund, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, the school crossing guard fund, the library operating fund and the library IMRF fund.

Both the police pension tax levy and the fire pension tax levy will increase this year, according to city documents. The police pension tax levy will increase from $2,391,331 to $2,690,477, for an increase of $299,146. For the fire pension tax levy, there will be an increase of $35,224, as it will go from $1,847,037 to $1,882,261.

No increase is being proposed in the levy for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and the city’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Crystal Lake’s 2019 tax levy will be incorporated into the property tax bills homeowners will receive during the 2020 calendar year and be used by the city to fund a part of the 2020-2021 budget.

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