3 months, 1 week ago by Bob Gough
City looks at 6.8 percent increase to help pay for pensions
The Quincy City Council has approved holding a Truth in Taxation hearing in order to consider a property tax levy increase of more than 5 percent.
The Finance Committee discussed the matter in detail in the meeting that preceded the Council meeting and the Council took action. The hearing will be held on December 16.
The City’s administration provided the Committee with three alternatives on the levy and increases needed to accommodate funding increases needed in Police and Fire pensions: $2.072 million for Fire pensions and $1.397 million for Police pensions, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance.
One alternative would raise the levy by nearly 7 percent to more than $6 million. The increase would mean a $67.71 increase to an owner of a $100,000 home. This would cover the increases needed to cover the Police and Fire pension funds.
Another would raise the levy by 3 percent to $5.8 million. The increase would mean an increase of $29.86 to an owner of a $100,000 home. $215,000 would be needed from the general fund to cover the pension increases.
The third option keeps a flat levy of $5.65 million. $500,000 would be needed to cover the pension increases. Mayor Kyle Moore says this option will lead to severe cuts in other City departments and “everything is on the table.”
Finance Committee Chairman Mike Farha (R-4th Ward) noted several times throughout the meeting on how quiet everyone was as aldermen and other city officials begin to realize the scope of the City’s financial difficulties.
While the City is looking at preliminary figures that show $1.1 million cash balance at the end of next year, projections for five years down the road show the City with deficits growing to the point where the City would end 2019 with a year-end cash balance in the range of negative $30 million.