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Park district looks at tax increase

URBANA -- Local residents may soon pay more in taxes. The Urbana Park District is looking at an increase which could be more than 11%.
URBANA -- Local residents may soon pay more in taxes. The Urbana Park District is looking at an increase which could be more than 11%.

The proposed tax may seem high, but right now, it's all estimates. The proposed increase is based on numbers which will not be finalized until April, but park district leaders say it should not be that high.

Dale Tolliver and his son Kyle enjoy playing tennis at Blair Park, but the price might soon be higher.

"If they're going to ask for 11%, they better make sure that you know they're spending that money really well, and we're getting a lot for that."

Park District Executive Director Vicki Mayes said, "What we're doing is estimating what our taxes will be based upon incomplete information. So at this point, it's an educated guess."

Those estimations say the tax increase will be 11.5%, leaving area homeowners like Tolliver a bit concerned.

"It seems a little high. I would like to see why they need that much money, and they also need to prioritize where they're going to spend that money."

Mayes said it's to take care of programs and services.

"Also, our facilities that deteriorate over the course of time, like cracked tennis courts or light fixtures that are out of date."

Kyle Tolliver enjoys the improvements.

"It's great that we got the resurfacing done. They did the lights a couple years ago, which was a much needed improvement."

His father, Dale, agreed.

"The courts were in really bad shape. It was long overdue."

Mayes says tax cap laws will limit the tax.

"It will never max out at 11.5%, unless there is something extraordinary that happens. Again, with that allowance for error, what we expect is a 6% increase."

"Well, that seems a bit more reasonable," said Dale Tolliver.

The money will be used to continue improvements to the grounds and overall maintenance of the parks. At the 6% increase, for every $100 in value, homeowners would see an increase of $1.14. The board will meet to go over the finalized increase on November 12.
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