Cal City, Lansing governments OK slight increases in tax levies

2013-12-21T00:00:00Z 2014-01-09T22:20:08Z Cal City, Lansing governments OK slight increases in tax leviesGregory Tejeda Times Correspondent
December 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Homeowners in Calumet City and Lansing have local governments that made efforts this year to keep property tax levy increases to a minimum.

The City Council in Calumet City and the Village Board in Lansing voted this week on tax levy measures that will now be filed with the Cook County assessor’s office, which will send out property tax bills next year based off those levy increases.

In Calumet City, aldermen voted 7-0 for two measures related to the property tax levy. In all, city government wants $23.25 million from local property owners.

While municipal officials want 1.29 percent more money for their operating levies, city Finance Director John Kasperek told aldermen the levies covering costs of bond and interest will drop by 5.7 percent.

There also was a cut in the Special Services levy from $400,000 to $300,000, with the extra $100,000 shifted to the city’s Corporate levy for funding city government agencies.

The levy initially received a 5-2 vote, with Third Ward Alderman Thaddeus Jones and Seventh Ward Alderman Antoine Collins complaining they were not given a chance to ask questions about the process.

But Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush eventually permitted explanation from Kasperek, and the vote was reconsidered, resulting in the unanimous approval.

Over in Lansing, officials approved a property tax levy seeking significantly less money — a little more than $427,000 in all from local property owners. Wynsma said that is a 4.53 percent increase from the amount of money sought last year. Because the increase is under 5 percent, the village did not have to conduct public hearings.

Of that levy, $100,000 is for the Lansing Public Library district, which has its own budget and levy but has to get Village Board approval for their finances before they can take effect.

Wynsma said that $282,000 from the levy will go to cover costs of pension programs for retired police officers and firefighters, while about $44,000 will go toward daily operations of village government.

Other funding for both Calumet City and Lansing municipal governments will come from assorted grants from state and federal governments.

Last month, the Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215 School Board approved a property tax levy for residents of both communities that called for a “zero percent” increase in funding sought by the area high schools.

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