11.55 percent tax hike under consideration for Urbana parks

11.55 percent tax hike under consideration for Urbana parks

URBANA — The Urbana Park District is proposing a double-digit increase in its property tax levy, for taxes to be paid next spring.

Final action on the tax levy ordinance will be taken at the park board's next meeting on Nov. 12.

This year's property tax extension amounted to $5.865 million, and next year's could be as high as $6.54 million, based on the board's preliminary vote Tuesday night.

The increase, if granted in full, would be about 11.55 percent. But the park district's business manager, Dottie Lierman, said that the money received in property taxes next spring likely would be less.

Board members were given three tax levy options to choose from: $6.54 million, $6.65 million or $6.76 million, and opted for the lowest figure.

Lierman projected the park district's property tax rate next year at $1.14 per $100 of assessed valuation, an increase from about $1.01 this year.

Board members also formally accepted a $50,000 gift from the family of the late Art and Billie Spomer of Urbana. The money will be used for the care and maintenance of the tallgrass prairie at Meadowbrook Park, on Urbana's south side.

The prairie will be renamed the Art and Billie Spomer Prairie, in honor of Art Spomer, a retired professor of horticulture and plant sciences who died in August, and his wife Billie, who passed away in 1998. Signs recognizing the gift will be placed at the three main entrances to the park.

The board also held a brief public hearing, during which there were no public comments, on a routine, annual $1.65 million general obligation parks bonds issuance.

The board will vote at its November meeting on the bond issue, the proceeds of which would be used to pay for various parks improvements and maintenance projects over the next three years.

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