Utica lowers its tax rate by tiny sum

Tax base grew, allowing village to levy more, yet still reduce rate

A new sign reads North Utica Village Hall and Community Center in Utica on Wednesday Nov. 9, 2021. The Village purchased the former Waltham South School building last year and converted it into offices, meeting rooms and a community center. The building is about ninety percent complete and will be open officially at the beginning of 2022.

Utica’s tax base grew by about $2.5 million — thanks mainly to rising residential property values — and that means the village tax rate is going down a little.

Thursday, the Utica Village Board adopted a levy of $82,705, the highest amount the village can raise without having to host a hearing under the Truth-in-Taxation Act.

“I think it’s a win for everyone,” trustee Nate Holland said.

Village taxpayers will see a reduction in the tax rate, albeit a very small one, when the tax bills arrive next spring. Mayor David Stewart would pay the village about $1 less than the $60 he paid the village last year, on a total tax bill of nearly $3,000.

“Everyone in the county is higher than us except for the town of Millington,” Stewart said. “We’re still going to be second lowest in La Salle County.”

Separately, the village has not finalized an overhaul of its sign ordinance. After getting a series of recommendations by the Utica Planning Commission, the Village Board decided to table the recommendations until Nov. 17 for additional review.

Finally, the board adopted a fee and regulation schedule for Oak Hill Cemetery, which now is village owned, and agreed to hire a part-time cemetery custodian position in the village.

In other matters, the board:

  • Scheduled a special board meeting Thursday, Nov. 17
  • Moved next month’s meeting from Dec. 8 to Dec. 15
  • Announced Christmas in the Village will be Nov. 26-27
  • Approved an estimate to install additional street lights on Richard Hallett Road