The Village of Arlington Heights Board has formally approved a 2.6 percent property tax levy increase and $183 million budget to fund village operations in 2018.
The village board voted unanimously on Monday December 18, 2017 to approve the levy and budget ordinances, which follows a series of meetings in November during which the spending plan was discussed.
Sitting in a large meeting hall with a cathedral ceiling surrounded by hallways with large loft-like open spaces, Mayor Tom Hayes said he believes the budget reflects “wise and prudent” spending. The financial situation includes funding for the construction of a new $28 million police station — the third of three large government buildings on the municipal campus.
Funding needs also include street rehabilitation projects and stormwater mitigation projects. However, the Village of Arlington Heights declared a 2 percent decrease in spending from last year.
The Village of Arlington Heights reports the levy increase is needed to offset lower sales, income and telecommunication tax revenues. While the downtown restaurant economy and retail wireless businesses near Rand Road appear to be doing well, overall retail space utilization is weak with 69 available spaces reported currently on an undated document, “Village of Arlington Heights Available Retail Space”.
The levy increase translates to a real estate tax increase of $33 more to the village in 2018 for the owner of a $300,000 property.
The 2017 Tax Levy Ordinance was discussed at the November 13, 2017 Committee-of-the-Whole meeting. The Village’s total proposed tax levy, including the Library and Debt Service levies, reflects a 2.61% increase over the prior year levy. The Village of Arlington Heights comprises about 12% of a homeowner’s total tax bill.
The Village is levying for Police and Fire protection, IMRF, FICA, and Police and Fire pensions. These levies are identified as special purpose levies and deposited in the General Fund. They are directly related to personnel costs and are calculated as a percentage of eligible employees’ salaries or based on actuarial studies. Other special purpose levies are for the Library and for Capital Improvements. Total corporate and special purpose levies amount to $42,582,392. The Debt Service levies add another $6,882,800 bringing the total proposed tax levy to $49,465,192. The Debt Service of the new Police Station is the highest debt service at $1,759,200.
Arlington Heights Village Hall cathedral ceiling in Village Board meeting room (May 2017).
Arlington Heights Village Hall Hallway Loft.
Arlington Heights Village Hall Hallway Loft looking down.
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Salon 117, one of the first retail casualties of 2017, still empty in a high rent district.
Southpoint Shopping Center mostly empty for years.