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Sycamore to hold public hearing on levy

SYCAMORE – Sycamore residents will have a chance to weigh in on a $2.6 million property tax levy Monday during a public hearing at the Sycamore City Council meeting.

Should the council decide to hold the levy at $2.6 million, it will be the third year in a row with a freeze in place though the tax rate will increase to make up for the significant loss of property value in the city. The Equalized Assessed Value, which measures the total value of property in the city, is expected to drop from $410 million to $371 million.

The loss in property value means residents will pay the highest tax rate since 2005 at 70 cents per $100 of EAV, which will result in about $1.20 increase in the city portion of property tax bills for the average homeowner.

The Sycamore Public Library levy, which also must go through the council, is proposed to increase 3 percent, bumping the average homeowner’s share from $129 to $134. It would increase the library’s budget from $915,366 to $943,400.

The increase is needed to cover the costs of materials such as audio books and DVDs.

Property tax bumps will not be as noticeable for some as the council also will consider annual tax breaks for a pair of businesses. Ample Supply and Smart Motion Robotics will receive partial tax abatement of $1,854 and $2,250 respectively.

Both companies received three-year tax break deals when they opened. Ample Supply is in the last year of its deal while Smart Motion Robotics will receive a 50 percent break next year as well.

Outside of property tax issues, the council also will decide how to sell the old Harvester Square plant on South Avenue now that the city has addressed hazardous material issues and received the OK from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to release the land for commercial use.

The city obtained the land in 2004 after the former owner failed to repay a loan and will look to sell it to surrounding businesses, Blumen Gardens and Blackhawk Moving and Storage. The city also could go out for bid to sell the property.


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