For the second consecutive year, the village of Romeoville will be returning $20 in property tax money to homeowners.
The rebate comes in the form of a $20 credit on October water bills, a less-expensive way of giving residents money back without having to write checks to every residential property owner in the village, Romeoville Mayor John Noak said.
It also simplifies things because the idea is to reward residential property taxpayers without involving businesses, which do not get the rebate.
"The goal of this program is to try to return as much money as we can to the residents," Noak said.
The rebate will cost about $200,000 -- the same amount as last year -- but there is money in the budget to cover the expense, Noak said. In fact, the village is in fairly good shape financially given the new retail businesses that have opened or will be opening and the 1.5 million square feet of new industrial space that's been added, he said.
The village's philosophy is to encourage new commercial and industrial development to generate additional tax dollars to pay for government services, thereby reducing the tax burden on residential property owners, Noak said.
Although it would seem that reducing the tax rate would achieve the same effect, Noak said there is no simple way to do that without also benefitting businesses and without making it extremely complex for the assessors of the three townships that encompass the village, he said.
Romeoville hasn't raised taxes in three years and the budget's been balanced, in part because there has been increased business real estate and sales tax income, Noak said. The percentage of the overall residential tax bill paid to the village this year dropped from 15 percent to 14 percent.
"We're headed in the right direction," Noak said.