CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - On Tuesday afternoon, the Carterville community gathered for a public hearing to approve a proposed property tax levy increase for the City of Carterville, Illinois.
The tax levy increase passed 7-1. There were a lot of good questions and everything was civil. A few though were unhappy with the results.
The public hearing allowed the community to present their testimony the city clerk Khristina Hollister, Mayor Brad Robinson and the Council.
Maryor Robinson said that increase is needed to fulfill the city’s obligation to its public servants, and even he will feel be impacted. “Im going to have an increase on my home as well as everyone else here...my 93 year old grandmother lives here in town and I don’t want to raise her taxes either,“ Robinson says this is a big increase. "The increase on the city’s line item of the property tax 30.6% compared to what we levied last year. And that entire increase is police and fire pension.”
All full time city employees formerly were a participated in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, but now the city of Carterville funds its own police and fire pensions. In 2011, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund for the City of Carterville was $60,000. In 2017, the IMRF was $41,000 with $114,298 for the Fire Pension Fund and $120,922 for the Police Fund.
In 2018, the it was $41,000 with $116,521 for the Fire Pension Fund and $270,343 for the Police Pension Fund. That’s more than $150k from last year.
“The number one problem -- the state of Illinois requires any municipality over 5000 in population to create their own police and fire pension board and pension funds.” In the last Census, Carterville reached 5600, according to the Robinson.
He explained a home worth $200,000 will see a tax increase of about $100. A home valued at $129,000 will see $50 increase, a home of $69,000 will see a $35 increase.
Robinson said there is very little wiggle room to find this money. “If pension obligations are not met with property taxes, they’ll have to come out of another operating budget.”
If they don’t pay this through the property tax levy, then the city will use money out of general fund, equipment fund or take money out emergency fund.
According to the Carterville’s City Website:
Robinson said they are hoping for a pension reform in the future. In addition, he says the Illinois Municipal League has proposed multiple solutions to legislators in Springfield to reform pensions.