Metamora tax levy increases

Sean McGowan

The Metamora Village Board approved the annual taxy levy in the amount of $707,116.89 with a 5-0 vote.

To the owner of a $150,000 house, the increase in taxes will be approximately $75. The village is levying $105,574 on behalf of Emergency 116, according to village attorney Mike Tibbs, and the rural district is levying $97,537. The total amount levied for the year 2011 was $572,897.43.

This represents an increase of $134,219.46, or 23.43 percent. With an increase of more than 5 percent from the previous year, a public hearing was required in order to approve the levy.

The hearing took place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the Village Hall. An agreement between E-116 ambulance services and the Metamora Rural Fire Department is what raised the increase to more than 5 percent. Previously, Emergency 116 relied on donations, fees and fundraisers but could not continue with only that amount if it was to upgrade from basic to paramedic level services.

Both E-116 and Metamora Rural attended since the hearing covered levies for the village and the rural district.

"It's a rather complex arrangement, but it wasn't difficult in the sense that all three parties had a common goal of making sure the area has quality ambulance service," Tibbs said about the ambulance tax.

The agreement among the three entities is for two years and renewable thereafter annually, Tibbs said. In both jurisdictions, the tax rate for the ambulance service works out to about 17 cents per $100 of assessed property value, Tibbs said. The rate might vary a cent or less either way when it's confirmed sometime next year, based on property valuations.

For the rural district, the levy is to go from $65,350 to almost $163,000 - an increase of about 149 percent. When the floor opened to public comment, Metamora resident John Egli said what he heard from others about resident's approval of the tax lavy.

"Some people were telling me they don't like it because taxes are going to go up," he said. "But that's the response you're going to get all the time."

Beginning with the Village of Metamora, each of the three parties approved the agreement with E-116 for the proposed tax increases.

-Reporter Nick Vlahos contributed to this story