WJ underestimated village's levy increase

Opinion

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Given the complexity of municipal finance, it is not surprising that your recent report on the village board's 2005 budget ("Fee, tax increases passed along with village's '05 budget," Dec. 15) may have under-reported the increase in the village's tax levy. Here are the data.

Last December, the village board levied $19.94 million in property taxes for calendar year 2004.

This December, we levied $21.19 million for calendar year 2005.

This is a year-to-year tax increase of 6.3 percent.

Much of this increase represents a rise in our payments to the police and firemen's pension fund, plus greater debt service than before. Some, however, goes to support ongoing municipal operations.

The village's portion of the Oak Park tax bill is one-eighth of the total, while the balance is levied by other jurisdictions, primarily the school districts.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer this clarification.

Galen L. Gockel
Oak Park Village Trustee

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