NORMAL (HOI) – The Town of Normal heard from several concerned citizens Monday night, as the town weighed their options to cover rising pension costs.
One man told council members, “We need to stop expecting the property owners of this town to fund the deficit through higher taxes .. it’s unsustainable and irresponsible.”
Another man said, “We cannot keep taxing fewer and fewer citizens more and more. The strongest vote anyone ever makes is not at the ballot box, but with their feet. Whether it’s leaving Illinois, or immigrants coming to our borders.”
The original proposal was to raise property taxes 4.95% next year. The estimate was based on a proposed levy in which the government would collect $13.6 million in property taxes next year.
In theory, the owner of a $165,000 home would pay an extra $37 in property taxes. After Monday night’s meeting, that dollar figure was changed to $7.
The Town Council said they have been operating to fund pensions at 100% by 2040, but the legal minimum funding requirement is 90%.
At Monday’s council meeting, members decided to only fund pensions at 90%, and take $100,000 out of the general fund to avoid raising property taxes.
That decision created a new problem to solve.
“During the budget process now, we need to find $100,000 or so in cuts to make up for the lost revenue,” said Finance Director, Andrew Huhn.
Council members will have to decide where they will make cuts at a meeting December 2nd.
Huhn also said there would be a half cent decrease in the property tax rate.
In the future, the council could decide to go back to funding pensions at 100% by 2040.