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Tax levy, membership rates discussed by Princeton Park Board

PRINCETON — The Princeton Park Board continues to look at revenue sources for the park district, including taxes and membership rates.

At Monday’s meeting, the park board adopted the final 2013 real estate tax levy, which shows the district getting about $14,530 less in real estate taxes for the new year.

As presented at last month’s board meeting by the park district’s attorney Bob Russell, the estimated 2013 tax rate is about 35 cents for the regular funds, with another 59 cents for the bonds to be issued by the park district, for a total tax rate of about 94 cents. In comparison, the 2012 tax rate totaled 95 cents.

With no new questions on the tax levy at Monday’s meeting, park board members Gene Englehart, Dennis Nink and Dick Volker voted to adopt the 2013 real estate tax levy as presented, with board members Andy Marti and Bob Halberg absent.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the board approved a recommendation by Elaine Russell, executive director, to increase membership rates for patrons of the Bureau County Metro Center. The rate increase will be minimal, she said.

Effective Jan. 1, the membership rates will be increased by $3 in the single person categories and by $5 in multiple persons categories. This will be the fourth year for a membership rate increase, and hopefully, she will be able to come to the board next year and recommend no increase for that year, Russell said.

The new rate increase is needed just to help keep up with rising inflation costs, Russell said. The park board had previously gone for nine years without any membership rate increases. No one likes membership rate increases, but the patrons have been understanding and receptive, she said.

Daily fees for people using the Metro Center did not increase.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, the board held a bond hearing to answer questions from the public on the upcoming sale of general obligation bonds in the amount of $790,000. Other than members of the media, no one from the public attended the bond hearing.

The $790,000 amount of the bond represents a slight decrease from recent years, which has been more in the $800,000 range. The amount the park district can bond is directly connected to the amount of taxes the district can levy, Russell said Tuesday.  Due to a decrease in the park district’s equalized assessed valuation (EAV) and other tax adjustments, the percentage available to bond has decreased, she said.

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