The City of Sycamore is holding a public hearing Monday, Dec 4 at 7pm in the council chambers of the Sycamore Center, 308 W. State St., regarding its proposed tax levies for the city government and the public library.
First and second readings are on the agenda, meaning the council could vote on final approval of the ordinance or pass it on first reading for more discussion at a later meeting before taking final action.
If approved the owner of a $200,000 home in Sycamore will pay $494.15 for the city’s share of the 2017 tax levy, payable in 2018, a reduction of 3 cents from last year.
That library taxing district’s share for a $200,000 home is $186.02 if the council passes the proposed levy. That’s an increase of $4.56 over last year. According to city documents the city is obligated to pass the library’s levy request, provided the annual library levy does not exceed .006% of the community’s EAV.
The total proposed levy by the city is $2,973,858, an increase of $84,964 from last year but that increased revenue comes from new construction during the past year.
The City’s proposed levy maintains the property tax dollars for general operations. Since 2000, the City has reduced its reliance on property taxes from 25.7% of the general operating budget down to less than 12% in 2017. This is a direct result of increasing pension costs and relatively flat property tax levies in recent years. This year, pension contributions for police and fire increased nearly $60,000 which is lower than previous years due to stronger than anticipated investment returns. Significant new construction allows for a proposed levy that ensures fiduciary responsibilities are met while homeowners should see little or no change in the portion of their tax bill that goes to the City.
The council is also considering reductions in administration in its police and public works departments by not filling two vacant positions.
The position of deputy chief will not be filled and a current officer will ultimately be promoted to sergeant of investigations. The promoted officer is to be replaced by a new officer.
Council may also vote to not fill the open assistant director position in the public works department.