H-F Park District board will vote on 4.8 percent levy increase

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District is proposing a 4.8 percent increase in the 2018 tax levy. The park board will adopt the levy at its Dec. 4 meeting. It expects to raise $5.44 million next year.
Sharon Dangles, superintendent of finance and administration, told board members at the Oct. 16 meeting that the levy is expected to increase 2.1 percent to match the Consumer Price Index and an additional 2.7 percent in new construction. The levy is based on property values. The 2018 Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) for property within the H-F Park District is estimated at $652,910,545. 
The park district is still trying to recover from the substantial loss in tax revenue due to the 2009 recession. In 2010, the park district had an EAV of $812,746,481. Dangles said there are finally some positive signs and EAV continues to climb.
“The proposed levy increase is recommended in order to maintain the current level of services primarily due to projected inflationary costs for overall operations and to meet current demand for capital improvements,” Dangles told the park commissioners.
Dangles said the park district sets the numbers high so it can capture as much of an assessment increase from new construction as it can. If it underestimates, it cannot go back and make a correction, so the park district asks for everything it can and waits for the final numbers that are set by the Cook County Assessor’s Office. The park district will receive the final numbers in summer 2019.
It collected $4.98 million in revenue under the 2017 levy, a 4.3 percent increase over $4.78 million it collected in 2016.
In other business, the board accepted the park district 2018 audit prepared by Matt Beran of Lauterbach & Amen LLC. He said the district’s funds are “fairly solid” and he applauded staff for their excellent work on the financial records. The report is for the financial year that ended April 30, 2018.
Beran also congratulated the district for receiving its 33rd certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the fiscal year ending April 30, 2017. Dangles said she has submitted this audit for a GFOA review.


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