Normal's tax levy hike expected to increase property taxes, Illinois Policy Institute says
In a 2017 postscript to the ongoing battle over the state’s property taxes, the Normal Town Council voted unanimously Dec. 4 to raise the city’s property tax levy to $13 million annually, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.
The increase, which is expected to equal a 5.9 percent rise in property taxes, will be felt in the town beginning next year, raising rates in a state already ranked No. 1 for its tax burden, according to a study published on the Institute’s website.
Citing the example of a homeowner whose property is valued at $165,000, the Illinois Policy Institute said the taxes would jump $40 compared with last year to $816 in 2018.
The institute’s report said the measure passed despite public opposition and will go to offset pension costs for police officers and firefighters. This marks the 11th year property tax assessments have increased, the report said.
Some are calling for a better solution to the insolvent pensions, which are hovering around 50 percent for both police and firefighters. This is despite taxpayer-funded increases of 30 percent and 17 percent, respectively, between 2012 and 2016, the report said.
The institute is advocating two solutions: a property-tax freeze on the amount homeowners are billed and a requirement that makes ballot approval of property tax hikes mandatory.
“As long as the state refuses to offer homeowners any real property tax protection, and fails to empower cities like Normal to truly reform their own pensions, Normal residents should expect more tax hikes,” the institute wrote.