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Some Sycamore residents may be looking at slight decrease in city portion of property tax bill

SYCAMORE – Some Sycamore city residents may be looking at a slight decrease on the city’s portion of their property tax bill, according to city officials.

Sycamore City Manager Brian Gregory said the City Council was supportive of the staff’s recommended tax levy option for a $3,137,913 levy for the 2020 tax year, with a 0.64447% tax rate, during their Monday, Nov. 16 meeting. The DeKalb County Supervisor of Assessment estimates the city’s equalized assessed value, or EAV, for 2020 will be $486,900,285, which includes $4,600,245 in new construction, according to city documents.

Gregory said that recommended option would mean the levy would essentially fund city pensions.

“And everything else stays the same,” Gregory said.

For someone who owns a $200,000 home within the city, that would mean they could see a $0.56 decrease from the previous tax year for the city’s portion of the homeowner’s property tax bill, Gregory said. The increased funding for pension costs will be born from new construction, he said.

Gregory said city staff is recommending a property tax freeze for most residents for the library’s tax levy and the levy would only apply to new construction. Together, the levy amount will go down a little bit for city residents, he said.

“It’s a very slight reduction,” Gregory said.

Staff wrote in city documents that they are “cautiously optimistic” in assessing the strength of the city’s key revenue sources, especially with the financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy.

“Property tax revenues have diminished as a percentage of the City’s budget, which continues with this recommendation,” city staff wrote in Monday meeting agenda documents. “While this creates more uncertainty for the City’s operating budget, property taxpayers, including residents and businesses, are experiencing the same uncertainty.

The consumer price index, or CPI, for the levy is expected to be 2.3%, according to city documents. That’s about the same as the previous year.

The city’s portion makes up about 7% of the property tax bill, according to city documents. Sycamore School District 427 makes up more than 60% of the bill.

Gregory said the tax levy ordinance is set to go before the City Council for a first reading and public hearing during the council’s Dec. 7 meeting.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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