WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb Opposing Quinn Proposal

Macomb, IL – Macomb aldermen are now on the record opposing a portion of the governor's budget proposal.

Governor Pat Quinn wants to slash the amount of income tax revenue the state shares with local governments. Macomb says the proposal would cost it $463,000.

Fourth Ward Alderman Mike Inman criticized Quinn's plan during the city council's April 5 meeting.

"As we continue to lose our proportion of that funding, we'll have two choices: to cut services, which is not wholly without merit in some instances," said Inman. "But bottom line is, eventually in order to maintain basic city services we will have no choice - if this goes through - but other than to ask the citizens for a property tax increase.

"That's wrong, it puts a disproportionate burden on property owners when in fact this sharing of the state income tax revenue is a more equitable sharing of those tax dollars and spreads the burden more equitably across the population."

The Illinois Municipal League is asking cities and counties around the state to approve resolutions opposing the governor's proposed cut. Macomb aldermen vote 8-to-1 in favor of the resolution.

The only opposition came from Fifth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett. He pointed out higher education, K-12 education, social services, state workers, and municipalities all want to be spared from budget cuts.

"Everybody wants to see something done as long as their ox doesn't get gored," said Dorsett. "I could support this if the resolution said municipalities can't accept this level, and that it should be after all other avenues are exhausted, but I believe that all options ought to be on the table both at the state level and at the local level. So as it's currently worded, I cannot support this."

In Other Action

Also during their April 5 meeting:

*Aldermen held first reading of an ordinance to adopt the budget for the city's next fiscal year, which begins May 1. A public hearing on the budget will take place during the April 12 Committee of the Whole meeting. The document projects spending of $28,215,405.

*Aldermen held first reading of an ordinance to extend the Macomb/McDonough County Enterprise Zone to a 1.34 acre site on Macomb's east side. Developer Jack Laverdiere plans to build a 48-unit supportive living facility on the site, which is on the north side of the Grand Prairie Assisted Living center. The estimated cost of the project is $5 million. Laverdiere says he could save money on property and sales taxes if the zone is extended to the site.

*Aldermen rescinded a motion to reject the spring clean up. They then approved a motion to eliminate the "No Sticker Required" yard waste collection this spring and approved a motion to set dates for the spring clean up. The citywide spring clean up will take place May 17 through May 20 and again on May 24. Yard waste can be taken to the city's yard waste site on Tower Road.