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Sycamore City Council will consider new tax levy during Monday meeting

November 18, 2018

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore city manager said the city council will consider tax levy options that hopefully will not burden taxpayers too much while still having enough for pensions and the city’s general operations.

The city council will determine a direction during their meeting Monday night as members evaluate each of the five options in moving forward for the city’s 2018 tax levy, according to the meeting’s agenda: maintaining the city’s tax rate of 0.70815, not increasing the city’s levy, maintaining the property tax levy for the city’s general operations, maintaining the levy and applying it to new construction, or increasing the levy using a 2.1 percent inflation factor.

Although the city takes up 7 percent of residents’ tax bills, officials still take every dollar seriously, City Manager Brian Gregory said.

“The council gives us quite a bit of consideration [...] to make sure we have good balance between financial priority and obligation to make sure that we’re very mindful of the priorities of those who we serve,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the city’s priorities when considering a tax levy are to meet pension obligations for city employees, like police and fire, and to keep dollars for the city’s general operation funds at the same level. Because of that, he said, his recommendation out of the five options will be to maintain the property tax levy for the city’s general operations, which would result in a $6.46 increase for someone that owns a house valued at $200,000 that was recently reassessed, or increase the levy using a 2.1 percent inflation factor, which would result in a $9.93 increase for said homeowner but would give the city an extra $22,201 for general operations.

According to the agenda, the city is estimating the Consumer Price Index will be 2.1 percent with an increase in the equalized assessed valuation of 6.25 percent from last year’s EAV, which includes about $6.8 million in new construction.

The city council will also vote on whether to approve zoning for the first phase of a proposed luxury townhome development for active adults ages 55 and older. The city’s plan commission voted, 9-0, a week ago to allow developer Brian Grainger of Old Mill Park LLC to build 12 four-unit buildings on the southeast corner of Mount Hunger Road and North Main Street as part of the living community project.

The city council is scheduled to meet 7 p.m. Monday at the Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St.

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