DeKalb city staff have come up with a proposal to raise the city’s property tax levy by 10%. Daily Chronicle reports that the council gave initial approval on Monday.
Here’s how the city is presenting the recommendation:
City staff want to move away from the current practice of using the general fund to pay for pension obligations property tax revenues don’t cover. Finance Director Cathy Haley explained property taxes currently fully fund police and fire pension obligations and 97 percent of Social Security and Medicare costs. But only 26 percent of the city’s costs for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund comes from property taxes, leaving the general fund to cover more than $720,000.
A 10 percent increase would bring in an additional $495,000, fully fund Social Security and phase in fully funding IMRF obligations through property taxes, Haley said.
Council will furthermore consider the recommended hike in a joint meeting with the Financial Advisory Committee tonight.
The most important thing to understand is that the discussion is not just about setting the levy for the upcoming tax year, but about committing to a significant policy change in how the city chooses to fund its pensions — possibly for years to come. Read the rest of this entry