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Downers Grove

Downers Grove Park District looks at 2013 property tax levy

DOWNERS GROVE – The Downers Grove Park District is analyzing several options as it looks ahead to its 2013 property tax levy.

Park district Director Bill McAdam said the board and staff is considering whether to raise the levy by the consumer price index of 1.7 percent or whether to keep it flat.

The park district is only allowed to raise the levy by the CPI or 5 percent, whichever is less. CPI is essentially the rate of inflation.

The district raised the levy by the CPI figure of 3 percent last year.

The county then tacks on another percentage to the increase, which goes to the park district.

In 2011, the park district actually lowered the levy from the previous year from $6.73 million to $6.72 million.

McAdam said the park district is still waiting to hear final figures of how much new construction is expected. A meeting is usually held sometime in October with the school districts, village and township to discuss projected new construction that will be added to the levy.

"We don't know what that value is going to be," he said.

District administrators expect the equalized assessed value of property in the district to fall by about 5 percent.

McAdam said he expects the board to next discuss the levy the first week of November.

The park district is also looking at how it wants to cover the $8,500 annually that the federal government promised to pay in matching funds for Build America Bonds, but has declined to do so since the sequestration.

"It has to come out of our bottom line," he said.

The park district took out a combined $6 million in bonds in 2011 and 2012 to remodel Fishel and McCollum parks. The federal government is paying a portion of the promised matching funds, but $8,500 less annually than it originally agreed to, for a total of $179,000 over the life of the bonds.

McAdam said the park district is still deciding how to pay that portion.

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