2 months, 2 weeks ago by Bob Gough
Aldermen will choose between a flat tax rate or a 3 percent increase
The Quincy City Council will consider two options as it looks adopt its 2013 tax levy next Monday.
At Monday night's Quincy City Council meeting, Alderman Dan Brink (R-6th Ward) made a motion to amend the rate, which was set for a 3 percent increase, to a flat rate of a little more than 99 cents.. Alderman Mike Farha (R-4th Ward) then asked for Brink's motion to be made alongside the original proposal.
Mayor Kyle Moore has suggested a tax rate of $1.02 per $100 of assessed valuation, which would produce a $5.827 million property tax levy that would require about $200,000 from the general fund to make up a levy shortfall that would be needed to pay rising fire and police pension costs. The flat tax rate, proposed by Brink, would necessitate taking about $400,000 from the general fund according to Moore.
"That means personnel," Moore said.
Mark Bigelow of the Quincy Fire Department addressed the Council during the meeting and suggested a tax increase would only amount to about 8 cents a day for taxpayers. Bigelow said he believes people are okay with increasing taxes to maintain services.
"Any reduction in the tax is an increased safety concern in the community and could lead to closing a fire station and Increased response times,," Bigelow said, warning a reduction at the Quincy Fire Department could threaten the City's insurance rating.
Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning said if his upcoming budget doesn't increase, he will need to make $350,000 to $400,000 in personnel cuts as his budget is 94 percent salary and benefits.
Aldermen must pass a levy next week.
Aldermen approved a $6 cat tag fee that people will now have to pay when their cats receive their rabies shots. The estimated $10,000 is to go toward offsetting animal control service costs. Aldermen also passed an ordinance requiring e a peddlers license for anyone who plans to publicly give away or sell an animal.