We attended a Lake Metroparks Board meeting held on November 14th. They were discussing their 2019 Budget.
We applaud the Park Board and the Executive Director, Mr. Paul Palagyi, and Mr. Christopher Brassell, Chief Financial Officer, for their very fine financial reporting and total transparency with the Lake County taxpayers.
They are well financed by the Lake County taxpayers, and do not anticipate any need for any tax levies through the year 2022.
LFC comment: Here is a recap of the taxpayer’s cost to enjoy the park system:
RATES OF TAXATION FOR 2017 (Payable 2018)
Inside Millage – .10
Outside Millage – 2.70
Total Millage – 2.80 This equates to $98.00 per year for every $100,000 of home valuation. [$35.00 x 2.8 mills} or [($100,000 x .35)/1,000 x 2.8]
If your home is worth $300,000 then you are paying $294.00 [$98.00 x 3] per year for the privilege of having a park system to enjoy. If you do not partake in our park system, you are shortchanging yourself.
Per the figures from the Lake County Auditor’s office, the taxpayers were billed $16,221,075.28 in 2018 for property taxes. This was a $2,797,522.43 increase (20.84%) from the $13,423,522.85 billed in 2008. However, it appears that they receive quite a bit less in actual property taxes collected. They are projecting “only” $13,643,200 in property tax revenue for 2019. We will be contacting the Auditor’s office to confirm the numbers.
Here are some pertinent pages from their 2019 Budget:
They have provided a recap of park visitation and acreage. Last year they reported that they had 9,100 total acres, and this year they are now reporting that the total land acreage is 9,245. Our basic question is how big will or should Lake Metroparks become? The larger they become means less land available for the collection of property taxes, which means more of a tax burden on the taxpayers.
There are many more pages to their report. If anyone has a particular question, please let us know, and we will try to get you the answers.