LANSING | Businesses within the village that wish to get a property tax break from Cook County government will now have to pay municipal government a fee to cover the costs of processing the request.
The Village Board on Tuesday gave its approval to fees of $1,000 for businesses applying for a Class 6b or Class 8 property tax break, which the county issues to businesses that want to use otherwise vacant property to establish themselves.
Such tax breaks can reduce the amount of property taxes the businesses must pay by about half. The breaks are for limited time periods, but can be renewed with government approval.
Any business seeking to have its county tax break renewed will have to pay a $750 fee.
Village Attorney Timothy Lapp said the fees are meant to cover the cost of preparing the ordinances that the Village Board must approve in order for the tax break to become reality.
Under Cook County ordinances, the County Board has final say over whether such a tax break is given. But the County Board only grants the tax breaks if the local village board or city council gives its recommendation first.
Lapp said most communities charge a similar fee.
In other business, the Village Board approved a purchase of self-contained breathing apparatus for use by the Fire Department. Federal grants will pay the entire $136,800 cost of two dozen units for firefighters to breathe during smoky conditions. The department will purchase the gear from Air One Equipment Inc. of South Elgin, Ill.
Trustees also approved a contract to pay $720 apiece for 42 vests for use by the Police Department to provide officers with new body armor. The existing bullet-proof vests used by Lansing police officers were five years old, with Police Chief Dennis Murrin saying their warranty had expired. The vests will be purchased from Streicher's, which has offices in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The Village Board also altered ordinances related to how homeowners are expected to maintain their lawns. Lapp said that previous ordinances could have been interpreted to mean that people only had to keep their lawns free of weeds from May 1 to Sept. 15. The revised ordinance says people must maintain their lawns year-round.