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SSA taxes rising for three Yorkville subdivisions

Updated: February 26, 2013 6:21AM

YORKVILLE — Residents in three south-end subdivisions will see their special service area taxes rise, as the City Council this week approved abating their SSA tax levies.

For 2012 taxes payable in 2013, the additional tax payments for each taxpayer will be: $300 for Raintree Village SSA one, passed in 2003; $190 for Raintree Village SSA two, passed in 2004; $250 for Windett Ridge; and $150 for Grande Reserve.

The city has no choice but to abate the taxes and make the extra collections because in these cases, it passed bonds to fund infrastructure work in the subdivisions. The SSA payments guarantee the bond payments.

Residents agreed to pay the SSA taxes when they bought their houses. And they will pay no more than the maximum amount they agreed to. But for years now, they have been paying less than the maximum amount because that’s all that was needed to make the bond payments.

But in those three subdivisions, there are a number of lots that were not built on. The developers were paying the SSA taxes on those lots. But those developers have gone bankrupt, and in many cases, no one is paying the SSA taxes.

That means homeowners are stuck with paying more, up to the maximum they agreed to.

Aldermen held a special meeting last week to talk to residents about the situation, and residents appear to be resigned to paying the additional money. Only a handful of affected residents showed up and no one spoke at this week’s council meeting.

But one of the things residents and aldermen have discussed is what to do about getting the empty lots sold to someone who would pay the taxes, and possibly even build on the lots.

Alderman Larry Kot said he thinks the city’s BUILD program, which pays residents $10,000 at the time of an occupancy permit to build a new house in Yorkville, has been successful. But it hasn’t seemed to take hold in the subdivisions on the south end of the city.

He asked that the city staff see if there is a program like BUILD that could be tailored to the south end subdivisions.

Alderman Carlo Colosimo said he would like the Administration Committee to look at an ordinance, or an amendment to an existing ordinance, that would allow the city to turn down doing business with a company or any subsidiary of a company that owes the city money.

Windett Ridge, for instance, still has lots technically owned by Windett Ridge, which was formed from remnants of the original developer, Wiseman-Hughes. But Windett Ridge is not paying taxes on the property, and also owes the city money for liens incurred for not mowing the weeds on the empty lots.

In another case in Raintree Village, a bank took over lots through foreclosure and turned them over to a subsidiary. Under Colosimo’s proposal, the city would not do business with that bank.

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