Do you have a specific question you would like to see answered here? Please contact Gina Hassett at 815-469-9400 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the Frankfort Park District asking for in the referendum?
The Park District is asking for residents to decide whether or not to invest additional tax dollars for park maintenance and operations and recreational opportunities through a tax rate increase. The increase will generate funding needed to manage the park operations and to maintain existing assets and funding would be allocated to improved park maintenance, working capital outlay and future capital outlay.
Why is the Park District asking now?
The Park District board and have been evaluating the potential need for a tax rate increase since 2020. With mandated increases to minimum wage and rising costs of materials, the District is in the position where a modest rate increase will provide the funding necessary to maintain its existing assets. Without additional funding, the District will continue to delay maintenance and capital projects which will result in additional costs associated with deferred maintenance.
What are some examples of planned projects and future capital needs for which the referendum fund will be applied?
• Pond maintenance including management of invasive plants species and shoreline stabilization.
• Improved maintenance of existing parks including landscape beds and park trees and weed control.
• Replacement and repairs of asphalt pathways and parking lots.
• Replacement of playgrounds including Timbers Edge, Windy Hill and Butternut.
• Facility roof replacements including the Founders Room Roof and common areas.
• Planning for replacement of Fort Frankfort Playground which is estimated to cost $800,000.
• Facilities just like a home are always in need of repairs. Plumbing, heating and ventilation.
Residents have high property taxes, why do you want to increase them?
The Park District understands that Frankfort and Illinois Residents have high tax bills. However, the Park District represents one of the smallest amounts on your tax bill.
The Park District is limited in collecting property tax revenues by P-Tell (tax cap) which was enacted in 1991. At that time, the Frankfort Park District had lowered the tax rate which was then locked in place when P-Tell passed. The lower tax rate in 1990s hindered future tax collections and borrowing capacity for the Park District.
Why doesn’t the Park District raise user fees?
Individuals who register for the recreational program offered by the park district are charged a fee. The fees are adjusted to cover increased program costs. The costs associated with managing the parks and buildings are funded by the Park District’s general fund which is collected through property taxes. The Park District is limited by P-Tell, also known as the Tax Cap, as to how much money can be collected. To raise more funds the Park District must take the tax rate question to voters for approval.
Will the passing of the referendum increase my taxes?
If the referendum passes, it would increase Park District residents’ property taxes. For every $100,000 in estimated property value, taxes would increase $37.33 per year. If the market value of your property is equal to $400,000, taxes would have an annual increase of $149.32 or $12.44 per month.
How much of an increase in funding will the Park District get if the referendum passes?
If passed, the limiting rate for the District would increase by 0.112% above the current limiting rate and establishing a new rate of 0.2859%. The approximate amount of taxes extended with the current limiting rate is $1,505,421 and the approximate amount of taxes to be collected if the referendum passes is $2,475,076. This would generate $969,655 in funding for the Park District
Doesn’t the Village maintain the Parks?
The Frankfort Park District and the Village of Frankfort are separate taxing bodies with separate governing boards. The Frankfort Park District maintains the other 20 parks including Commissioners and Main Park thar are large regional parks. The Village of Frankfort owns and manages Breidert Green and Prairie Park in the downtown Frankfort area.
Where does the Park District get funding?
The Park District gets funding from property taxes, program and rental fees paid by users and grants. The Park District has been successful in securing matching grants from the State of Illinois to offset the costs of replacing and enhancing park projects.
The Village of Frankfort has additional tax revenue beyond property taxes. The Village collects Income Tax, Utility taxes and Sales Tax. The Park District does NOT receive any of these funds.
What percentage of my tax bill goes to the Frankfort Park District?
2.7% of your tax bill goes towards the Frankfort Park District. Click here to see Property Tax Bill Allocation.
Will there be public information meetings?
Yes! The public will be invited to attend upcoming information meetings that will be held at the Founders Center and virtually. Click here for more information.
What will the Park District do with more money?
The Park District plans to use the funding to improve the park maintenance operation, to allocate towards working capital projects and towards future capital outlay.
In the early 2000’s Frankfort’s population grew as did the number of park locations owned by the Park District. The assets acquired at that time are aging and need repairs.
In 2019, the District conducted a facility assessment which outlines $5.5 million in maintenance and capital projects that need to be done in next 10 years to maintain existing assets. The District has 8 playgrounds that are nearing 20+ years which is considered the useful life of the equipment. The roofs on the Founders Center and outlying buildings are due for replacement. Not all projects would be funded in one year.
Through surveys and master planning, Residents have communicated that they want enhanced recreational facilities. A portion of the money raised would be allocated for future capital outlay that would allow the District to apply for matching grants or to fund a facility that would meet the need of the residents.
Why does the Park District not have as much funding as School District 157C?
District 157C had a successful tax rate referendum in 2000 which provided funding for the future of their District. District 157C current tax rate is 3.2494 compared to that of the Park District with a current tax rate is .1739. The difference of tax rates between School District 157C and the current Frankfort Park District rate is 3.0755. The Park District is seeking a tax rate increase of .112 (12 cents) for a total tax rate of .2859.
Why doesn’t the Park District sell the property on Laraway Road to generate funds?
The property that the Park District own on LaGrange and Laraway Road is valued at approximately $900,000. The District purchased the property as future location to construct a recreation facility. Selling the property would only be a temporary fix as the proposed referendum would generate $1,000,000 annually. The Park District has tried to sell or exchange the Laraway Road parcel as permitted within the Park District code. There has not been much interest. The Park District does think that the location is favorable for a future consideration to construct a recreation facility as it is central location in town.
Please contact us at email@example.com or 815-469-9400 and we’d be happy to answer any other questions you have. Your additional questions will help us continue to develop our FAQ page and help your household make an informed decision.
The above FAQs are based on the best available information. Updates will be made to this page as needed.