Sugar Grove Public Library Board of Trustees
Minutes of October 25, 2012 Public Hearing
President pro tem Art Morrical called the hearing to order at 6:00 p.m.
Introduction of Trustees and Others Present:
Art Morrical, President Pro Tem; Anthony Oliver, Trustee; Bill Durrenberger, Secretary; Julie Wilson, Trustee; and Carol Dolin, Library Director.
Absent: Joan Roth, President; Dan Herkes, Treasurer; Bob Bergman, Trustee.
Members of the Public Signing to Speak: Shari Baum, Jerry Elliott.
Purpose of the Public Hearing – Statutory Requirements
The purpose of the Public Hearing is to present the Levy Ordinance for the Sugar Grove Public Library District for the Fiscal Year Beginning on July 1, 2012 and Ending on June 30, 2013 to meet the Statutory Requirements of the State of Illinois for public bodies. Dolin clarified that the Library is not making a special request for additional funding, but is following the normal levy process required for any taxing body. The Library decreased the levy request this year and has decreased it every year since 2009. Tax caps will restrict the Library’s ability to collect the full levy request. The levy request reflects the budget required to staff the library and purchase materials so the public can use the facility it has built. The library would not collect any taxes if it did not go through the levy process. Dolin also provided a chart with the District Equalized Assessed Values (EAV), Corporate Tax Levy, Bond and Interest Tax Levy, and Total Tax Levy numbers and rates from 2009 to 2012.
Shari Baum registered an objection to the proposed tax levy increase.
Jerry Elliott read the following statement:
“I come before this Library Board today to register my objection the proposed $1,300,000 taxation to district taxpayers described in your Budget and Appropriations Ordinance 2012-08-01 as submitted to Kane County. Your proposal is approximately $146,000 or 12.7% increase over last year’s tax appropriation to the Sugar Grove Library.
I also want to reintroduce you to existing legislation and court opinion of taxpayer protections relative to your actions of excessive increases to my taxation.
As you may recall, my letter of January 27, 2012 to the Sugar Grove Library Board pertaining to Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) (35 ILCS200/18-190) and Section 28-2 of the Election Code. This, in my words, describes the ‘Blackbox” tax increase notification to tax payers and sets in motion the “Backdoor Referendum” process obligating the taxpayers to gather (10% of taxbody) opposition signatures within 15 days of taxation enactment. This letter also points to Illinois legislation requiring “Direct (voter ballot) Referendum Approval” by tax payers to impose new taxation rates above the PTELL 5% ceiling. This is reinforced, in favor of taxpayers, by Illinois Supreme Court opinion in case of ACME Markets, Inc. v. Callanan, No. 106198 (Oct. 29, 2009).
In view of this law and court opinion, I would assume this library board will be introducing this proposed tax increase as a balloted voter referendum for public approval or reduce the proposed tax increase to 3.42% as targeted by Kane County.
I will expect a formal Sugar Grove Library Board decision communicated to me in written form.
39W686 Prairie Street
Aurora, Illinois 60506”
Elliott also requested to read a statement from Steve Eckert. Library Policy requires a person to be present at the meeting to offer public comment. Dolin accepted a copy of the written comment to be entered into the public record. This document is available at the library for public viewing.
No further public comments were offered.
President pro tem Morrical closed public comment.
Morrical clarified the library is not pursuing a referendum of any kind at this point, including backdoor referendum. Dolin stated again that the library’s levy request is significantly reduced from last year and has declined every year since 2009. The 2012 levy request is more than 1/3 less that of 2009 and is subject to the PTELL limits so we anticipate collecting no more than a 3% increase and perhaps less depending on what happens with the final EAV. When questioned about why they wrote the levy as it is if the library anticipated collecting so much less, Dolin responded that the levy is built on the budget and appropriation. When writing the budget and appropriation, the Board considered that the community built a beautiful library facility, but the budgetary restrictions limit the hours the library can be open. The levy is based on a budget required to purchase library materials to build appropriate collections and keep the library open so it can be used. The board also considered what the library would do should it receive a windfall and built the budget with that in mind. Morrical reiterated that the library is not seeking a referendum for a rate increase at this time. Anthony Oliver acknowledged that the Board explaining the library’s situation might be helpful.
Motion: To adjourn the Public Hearing on the Tentative Budget and Appropriation Ordinance for the Fiscal Year beginning on July 1, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2013 at 6:19 p.m. Motion by Bill Durrenberger. 2nd by Anthony Oliver. Voice vote. Motion carried.