Mt. Vernon Register-News

November 30, 2012

Tax levy expected to increase 5 percent

It is down from the 13 percent that could have been levied due to pension obligations

By TESA GLASS
tesa.glass@register-news.com

JEFFERSON COUNTY — — The 2012 tax levy for the city is expected to have a 5 percent increase for property owners — but down from the 13 percent increase that could have been levied due to pension obligations.

“We have $197,113 in pension obligations that we will be paying out of the general corporate home rule taxes rather than levy the entire obligation,” City Manager Merle Hollmann said. “If we had levied the amounts needed, we would be at a 13.5 percent, and we didn’t want to do that.”

Pension liabilities were more than $2.3 million for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, Fire Pension and Police Pension. The IMRF obligation is at $730,388; the Firefighters Pension at $863,306 and the Police Pension at $749,651.

Under the proposed levy, which will be presented to the City Council on Monday night for a first reading, $61,437 of IMRF obligation will be from general corporate; $72,617 in Firefighters Pension will be taken from general corporate; and $63,057 in Police Pension obligations will be taken from general corporate to reduce the amounts levied.

The proposed levy calls for $668,950 for the IMRF and Social Security levy; $790688 for the Firefighters Pension Fund; $686,593 for the Police Pension Fund; $180,685 for the Parks levy; $8,470 for the Emergency Services Disaster levy; and $85,981 for Special Service Area 1, also known as the Downtown District.

The city has received two of its three property tax installments at this time, with the total of the extension at $2,220,304.

“After the (Equalized Assessed Valuation) is completed, it goes to the extension amount,” Hollmann explained. “First, we levy in December, then the EAV is computed and the multiplier released around July. Once the multiplier is applied, the amount we receive becomes the extension.”

IMRF and Social Security amount received from last year’s extension was at $588,843; the Firefighters Pension Fund extension was $746,431; the Police Pension Fund extension was $695,875; Parks was $180,684; ESDA was $8,469l; and Special Service Area 1 was $85,980.

By keeping the levy at 5 percent, the city does not have to hold a Truth in Taxation Hearing. The last time a hearing was held was in 2004, when the levy was at 17.88 percent, Hollmann said.