Schaumburg moves toward cutting property tax

September 28, 2010 9:03:58 PM PDT
One Chicago suburb took the first step Tuesday night toward cutting property taxes and fees for residents.

That move is unusual enough; however, it is happening in Schaumburg. Until late last year, the village never had a property tax.

If you are looking to buy something, chances are, you could find it in Schaumburg, with two large shopping malls and other big box stores, as well as countless strip malls.

Car dealerships make up a quarter of the village's sales tax revenue.

In the last year or two, fewer people have bought these things. That, however, is now changing; it is changing enough for village officials to vote to recommend lowering property taxes by 4.4 percent and eliminating some fees, including garbage pickup and automobile stickers.

"We're doing better than we did two years ago. Two years ago, the bottom pretty much fell out of the retail market," said Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz, adding that with the retail market went many of the sales tax revenues.

While some communities are dealing with massive budget deficits and increasing taxes and fees, Schaumburg is in an enviable position, and residents are grateful.

"To hear that they're lowering it - that's incredible," said Schaumburg resident Christina Salem. "I'm really happy to hear that... yes!"

"That would be wonderful," said resident Julie Bossheart. "If they could lower it and maintain the same quality."

When the council voted to implement the tax last year, they promised to lower it once revenue improved.

Tuesday night, they say they are simply keeping their promise. The cuts should save some residents an average of more than $200 a year.

For the first 53 years of Schaumburg's existence, up until last year, there was no property tax.

Village officials say they would like to be able to return to those days, but they say that depends on the economy.


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