WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Property Taxes Won't Cover Shortfall

Macomb, IL – Macomb plans to ask for a 6.8% tax levy increase for next year. That would bring in $1,654,039 in property tax revenue, compared to around $1,547,549 this year.

But the increase won't be nearly enough to cover rising expenses. Mayor Mick Wisslead estimates expenses will increase by $525,000.

"(We'll need to) be very, very, very frugal," says Wisslead. "We're gonna have to look at a lot of things. We'll have to postpone a lot of purchases."

Wisslead says final decisions will be up to the city council but he expects the city to tighten its belt.

"I'd like to hope that we do not have to do anything with personnel but everything is on the table," says the mayor.

He says the city will be negotiating new contracts with three employee unions - police, fire, and public works.

The city faces major spending increases for worker's compensation and pension payments. Wisslead says the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) lost money on its investments, which means the city will need to increase its pension payments.

The proposed levy was presented to the city council by attorney John McMillan during the November 30 committee-of-the-whole meeting. You can listen to the presentation and discussion by clicking on the audio button.

The city council will hold first reading of the tax levy ordinance during its December 7 meeting. Later in the month it will hold a public "truth in taxation" hearing on the proposed levy.

The final amount of property tax money the city (and other local governments) receive will be determined by the county.