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updated: 11/14/2017 7:19 PM

Lake in the Hills residents will see 2 new taxes

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  • Lake in the Hills residents now will have to pay village taxes on utilities to help fund capital improvement projects.

      Lake in the Hills residents now will have to pay village taxes on utilities to help fund capital improvement projects.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

Lake in the Hills residents will pay two additional utilities taxes instituted to fund capital projects, officials said.

The village board last week unanimously approved a natural gas use tax administered through Nicor and an electricity tax through ComEd to fill a nearly $1 million deficit in the proposed 2018 budget.

Residents could pay $3.75 for gas and $4.56 for electricity monthly based on Nicor and ComEd usage data. The taxes could generate a combined $1.2 million yearly, Administrator Jennifer Clough said.

"Both of them will serve as a dedicated revenue source for our capital improvement fund," she added.

The village's strategic plan calls for spending $1 million on capital improvements starting in fiscal year 2018.

The village board repealed its gas tax in 2000 and electricity tax in 2004 because of steady residential and commercial business development revenue when the village was one of the fastest growing suburbs with open space close to major roadways.

Without the utility taxes, Lake in the Hills is projecting a deficit of $995,000 in 2018. It would be the village's fifth deficit budget in six years -- its last surplus was $123,180 in 2014.

Revenues will be used toward $1.7 million in capital improvement projects proposed as part of the nearly $26 million 2018 budget. It calls for replacing playground equipment; resurfacing basketball and tennis courts and a skate park; engineering for the first phase of the Lakewood Road bike path; replacing four police cars and two dump trucks with plows; replacing parking lots, carpet, roofing, siding and gutters at multiple village facilities; and upgrading technology.

For the eighth consecutive year, officials don't plan on increasing property taxes. The draft 2018 budget includes the elimination through attrition of three full-time employee positions saving $210,000. An additional $65,000 in savings is expected through risk management through the Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency, which provides workers' compensation and general liability coverage for the village, documents show.

In 2018, officials propose eliminating the water main replacement program fee and no increases to water rates are planned. Typically, residents have seen a 3 percent annual water rate increase and paid $16 per home toward the program. Annual savings are estimated at $264,000 or $27.85 per household.

The village board will vote on the 2018 budget and property tax levy Dec. 14.

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