Contact: Gavin Morgan, Township Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27, 2021
Oak Park Township Statement on Tax Levies
Due to an unexpected interpretation of Illinois’ tax cap law, this year’s property tax bills reflect a 4.8% increase in Oak Park Township’s tax levy. The Township did not anticipate a levy increase of this magnitude and is committed to adjusting its levy next year to make up for this year’s excess.
The tax cap law sets a maximum tax rate for districts like Oak Park Township that allows for tax levies to increase by the rate of inflation. When new properties are added to a district’s tax base, the law also allows the district to generate some additional revenue by applying its maximum tax rate to the new properties. This year in Oak Park, the tax cap allowed School District 97 to increase its levy by 3.4%. The Township expected a similar increase.
Since the Township is the smallest taxing district in Oak Park, the difference between an increase of 3.4% and 4.8% corresponds to about $73,000. Including all taxing districts, Oak Park’s total tax levies this year are a little over $230,000,000; the Township’s excess $73,000 is 0.03% of the Oak Park total. Nonetheless, the Township board is committed to being a good steward of taxpayer dollars and does not want to keep the extra money.
The board considered refunding the excess revenue to Oak Park’s 19,000 taxpayers, but after considering the printing costs, postage, and staff time needed to do that, concluded that this would not be a cost-effective way of addressing the problem. Instead, the Township will make up for the extra $73,000 it received this year by taking steps to ensure that it receives $73,000 less than it is entitled to next year.
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