The Carbondale Observer

News and commentary about Carbondale, Illinois and SIUC

Park District Tax Levy Confusion

with 2 comments

The Southern Illinoisan had a confusing article on the Carbondale Park District’s plans for next year’s tax levy. The first sentence says the Park District is proposing an increase to its tax levy. The second sentence says:

Taxes will not increase because of the levy; instead, the district is just trying to maximize the revenue it can bring in, based on the amount of growth that occurs within the Park District.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see how the tax levy can increase without taxes increasing. The rest of the article seems to say that taxes will increase.

The article mentions the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), which would limit any increase to 2.7% this year. Then the article says the Park District plans a 20% increase.

I think that must be an error or a misprint. I can’t believe that the Park District would try to increase its tax levy by 20%. Then again, I never would have thought the Park District would try to sell Hickory Lodge.

One thing in the article was clear. The meeting to discuss the proposed tax levy is scheduled for Monday, December 13 at 6:00 pm at the Carbondale Civic Center.

Comments are welcome.

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Written by The Carbondale Observer

December 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “The article mentions the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), which would limit any increase to 2.7% this year. Then the article says the Park District plans a 20% increase.”

    I agree that this quote from the “Park District Levy Tax increase” article is confusing. Part of the confusion is that 2.7% (tax rate) is a percent and 20% (increase) is a percent. Let me simplify things in an example. Say I borrow $2.25 from you and expect you to pay me back $2.70. The increase (from $2.25 to $2.70) is a 20% increase. See math note #1 below. I’m not sure what the current tax rate is (the one which will be increased to 2.7%), but numerically it works out to be 2.25%. See math note #2 for the algebra of how to find that original tax rate.

    So a change from a $2.25 loan to a $2.70 payback represents a 20% increase. Similarly a 2.25% tax rate increased by 20% becomes 2.7% tax rate.

    Perhaps a reader knows whether the current tax rate is 2.25%.

    ***********************************************
    Math note #1. (2.70 – 2.25)/2.25 = .45/2.25 = .20 = 20% increase.

    Math note #2. Let x = the initial tax rate (percent). Then increase x by 20% (which is .20*x). So we have x + .20x = 2.7. OR x(1.20) = 2.7. Then x = 2.7/1.20 = 2.25. So the initial tax rate could be 2.25%

    TheNumbersGuy

    December 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm

  2. I tried to work my way through this, too, and even spoke with the executive director, Kathy Renfro, on the phone. The best I can understand, it only appears to be a tax increase because they are basing their estimates for 2011 off of numbers that include projected growth in the city’s tax base for next year. So, it looks like a 20 percent increase, but only because it is taking into account revenue sources that don’t yet exist. Or something like that.

    Guardian

    December 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm


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