Town of Fox Lake Budget Exceeds State Levy Limits

11/14/17 – The Fox Lake Town Board Monday night adopted the 2018 budget with a 36-percent increase in the tax levy. Municipalities with a population below 3000 people can exceed state-imposed levy limits with a majority vote of the electorate at the annual budget meeting. The vote was 34-to-26 in favor of exceeding the revenue cap. The $946-thousand-dollar budget includes a levy of $598,975, an increase of $155-thousand dollars from the 2017 budget. Without the successful vote to exceed the levy-limit, the township would have only been allowed to increase the levy by just over one-percent, or $4500. Town Chair Tom Wissing says the extra revenue is long overdue and is something that should have probably been addressed over a decade ago so that taxpayers did not feel the impact all at once. Wissing has served on the board for over 20 years and says until this year the same budget has pretty much been in place since 1995. Wissing says road repairs next year will target Chief Kuno Trail, allowing them to get done in one year instead of spreading the project out over three years. The extra $155-thousand dollars in the levy will stay in future budgets going forward as it is not a one-time revenue source; which is to say the 2019 budget process will start with a base levy of around $600-thousand dollars. However, taxpayers will not see another 35-percent increase next year, unless of course there is another successful vote to exceed the cap at that time. Former Town Board Supervisor Julie Flemming voted against the budget. Flemming says while roads are in bad shape, the jump in the levy should have been a one-time thing. She also says that she does not “trust” the board to keep their word and not seek another 35-percent levy hike again next year. The mill rate for Town of Fox Lake taxpayers is $2.82-per thousand dollars of assessed value, up from $2.09-per thousand, an increase of 73-cents. Equalized property values in the township decreased by $143-thousand dollars to $212-million-635-thousand dollars. The owner of a $100-thousand-dollar home in the Town of Fox Lake will pay $73 more for the township portion of their tax bill this coming year.