The Grayslake Park District Board approved a $2.24 million tax levy for 2012 earlier this month. The levy has increased $107,000 or 5 percent over last year.
"The actual extended amount will be lower, but levying less than 5 percent could possibly prohibit any future collection of any potential new tax dollars," said Jeff Nehila, park district executive director.
The increase, he said, assures the capture of all potential new growth in EAV (Equalized Assessed Valuation) and any other uncollected dollars within PTELL (Property Tax Extension Law Limit) limitations.
The park district anticipates a levy extension of about $2.2 million. Last year, the park district levied $2.28 million and was extended $2.13 million.
Knowing the extension will be less than what is levied, Nehila said the park district has worked diligently to lower some previously fixed costs such as utilities and commodities, and it has locked in lower rates for natural gas, telephone and gasoline for its vehicle and mower fleets.
The park district has also been successful in obtaining grant funds for several capital projects including $465,000 for Alleghany Road improvements, $105,000 for a neighborhood park renovation and $5,000 for shoreline restoration work on a local park pond.
Other grants in the works include $400,000 for Jones Island and $38,000 for Alleghany Park. The park district has also begun exploring grants for alternative energy and playgrounds, said Nehila.
Forecasted financial challenges for the park district include the rising cost of health care and park maintenance, including playground equipment replacement, vehicle and mower repair and replacement, and turf care.