2022 Road Referendum

June 28, 2022 Village of Hawthorn Woods Notice of Election

Hawthorn Woods Still Working to Pave the Way

Our infrastructure is aging, with an independent engineering study finding that 90% of the Village’s streets urgently need either resurfacing or reconstruction. Over the next 15 years, all the Village’s streets will need either resurfacing or reconstruction.

On June 28, 2022, the Village of Hawthorn Woods is planning to place a referendum question on the ballot seeking a replacement funding mechanism for road repairs and maintenance. The Village has a unique opportunity to replace the existing road Special Service Area (SSA) tax rates with a Village-wide $0.18 dedicated road tax. $0.18 is equivalent to the average of the combined current road SSA tax rate. Year 2022 is the last year the road SSA taxes will be collected. If the proposed referendum is successful, a more equitable funding program would replace the current SSA road bond.

Currently, some residents pay a higher portion of their real estate taxes than others based on their SSA population and location in town. Some residents pay no portion of their real estate taxes for the current SSA because they were not enrolled in the SSA program, as their subdivisions were not part of the Village at the time the SSA’s were created. This program will include all properties in the Village based on the assessed valuation of each property. The plan will not borrow in bonding capability, incurring interest. Rather, annual street maintenance projects, as outlined in the engineering plan, will occur as taxes are collected. 

The plan is sustainable, which is necessary because the repair and maintenance of streets never ends. Failing to properly maintain streets leads to those streets deteriorating faster and needing reconstruction rather than resurfacing, which costs three times more. The infrastructure plan implemented 15 years ago was based on a one-time revenue source, the new plan is a long-term solution that uses a permanent funding mechanism to proactively maintain our streets long into the future. 

The plan is fiscally responsible, because we must be certain that our tax dollars are being used wisely. The Village has proven its commitment to transparency and fiscal responsibility, getting our Village’s finances on solid footing and balancing the budget. Our infrastructure plan follows that same path, implementing the most economic, cost-effective solution. Each year we delay the start of the plan, the overall cost increases approximately $1 million as more streets reach the end of their lifespan. 

The plan is comprehensive, covering all streets under the Village’s jurisdiction. The previous infrastructure plan only fixed a portion of the streets in the Village. This proposed plan covers all our streets, ensuring that all our residents see the benefits as we invest in our hometown.

Tax Bill Impact

If the proposed referendum is successful, a more equitable funding program would replace the current SSA road bond. The financial impact on your home depends on its location due to the expiration of the previous road bond on your property tax bill.

If the referendum passes, based on a home with a fair market value of $500,000:

  • Residents in SSA 1 will see a decrease of $81.18 on their property tax bill.
  • Residents in SSA 2 will see an increase of $89.59 on their property tax bill.
  • Residents in SSA 3 will see a decrease of $83.68 on their property tax bill.

Click here to find Your SSA (Special Service Area)

What happens if the referendum is passed?

  • The referendum is expected to generate $900,000 annually for Village roads.
  • A property with a fair market value of $500,000, regardless of location within the Village, would pay a road tax of approximately $290 annually, based on the $0.18 tax rate, or approximately $25.00 a month.
  • The new road tax would begin in 2023, just as the current road SSA is no longer collected. This would create a neutral effect for most tax bills.
  • The plan will eliminate the annual Village vehicle sticker fee charged each year for all vehicles.
  • The referendum will include all properties within the Village based on the assessed valuation of each property, creating a more equitable plan for all neighborhoods.

What happens if the referendum is not supported by voters?

  • The current Village tax rate does not provide enough income to fund the necessary road repair and maintenance program. With the current tax rate, the Village is unable to undertake the repair and replacement of our roads, currently estimated at $28 million dollars.
  • For every year we delay the program, road conditions worsen and the program expense increases. Pavement on roads will crumble, impacting vehicular traffic and making snow and ice removal difficult. Similar to the Darlington Road collapse, additional culverts will fail, forcing emergency road closures and detours.