12:45 p.m. Updated to reflect current annual salaries of board members.
Residents in Avon Township may start to see some relief when it comes to property taxes. The Township board voted unanimously to cut salaries of elected officials by up to 27 percent, in some cases, and to mandate contributions by elected officials to health care provided by the Township.
The resolution is expected to save taxpayers up to $60,000 in its first year, and additional savings in the following three years, said Sam Yingling, Avon Township Supervisor.
"We are setting the example and leading by it," Yingling said. "We're reducing the costs to run the township and that will ultimately pass on to our taxpayers."
Beginning in the new term of 2013 the salary of elected officials will revert back to the amounts they were in 2008. According to Yinglin the decreases are as follows:
- Supervisor - Current salary of $71,361 and will take a 16% decrease.
- Clerk - Current salary of $25,887 and will take a 12% decrease.
- Assessor - Current salary of $85,248 and will take a 27% decrease.
- Highway Commissioner - Current salary of $71,361 and will take a 16% decrease
- Trustees - Current salary of $2,926 and will take a 12% decrease
In the remaining three years of the term following 2013 salaries will go down an additional three percent each year. Also, beginning in 2013 all eligible elected officials must contribute ten percent to any health care coverage they receive through the Township.
Trustee Doug Williams said the meeting on Sept. 10 was about compromise. While Yingling initially called for a 30% reduction in salaries, others wanted less. In the end "we were all willing to hear each other and could make a unamious decision," Yingling said.
"We don't want to gut the office," Williams said. "There are many issues including foreclosures and unemployment that we need to be able to work on."
Williams said he feels these cuts will still give the Township the ability to do that. "We want to make sure we keep Avon Township viable as a local entity for our residents."
Avon Township serves more than 65,000 residents and encompasses portions of the Villages of Grayslake, Round Lake, Round Lake Beach, Round Lake Heights, Round Lake Park, Hainesville, Third Lake, and surrounding unincorporated areas.
According to state law salaries of township officials are set by the previous administration. Current elected officials of Avon Township have already voluntarily returned pay increases that were set by the previous administration to the tune of about $30,000.