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County seeks more from taxpayers

September 28, 2018

KANKAKEE — Kankakee County wants to get $700,000 more from property taxpayers in the next fiscal year — a 3.2 percent increase.

This tax levy hike works out to about $6 for every man, woman and child in the county.

On Wednesday, the county board’s finance committee approved the property tax levy. Now it must go to the full county board, which has the final say.

The total proposed tax levy is $22.4 million.

In 1996, Kankakee County voters decided to cap tax increases in the county. That action means government bodies must limit tax hikes to inflationary increases on existing property, taking into account new construction.

The county has a number of parts in its property tax levy. The biggest proposed levy hike is for the Kankakee County Veterans Assistance Commission, which wants 9.1 percent more in property tax money.

Under the proposal, the commission, which received $206,000 this year, would get $225,000 in 2019.

County board chairman Andy Wheeler, R-Kankakee, said the goal is to return the commission to $250,000 or $260,000 per year, about what it was receiving a few years ago. The county, he said, is slowly increasing the commission’s levy, but can’t do it all at once because of tax caps.

“The VAC has partnered with us when times were bad,” Wheeler said.

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