BLOOMINGTON — City residents may see a slight increase in their property tax bills resulting from a levy increase sought by the City of Bloomington Township.
Township Supervisor Deb Skillrud equated the $1.84 increase in the annual tax bill for the owner of an average, $165,000 home in Bloomington to the cost of "a cup of plain, black coffee or a small soft drink at McDonald's."
The township’s trustees, who also are aldermen for the city of Bloomington, voted unanimously this week for a $2.35 million estimated 2017 levy for property taxes payable in 2018. That is about $100,000 higher than last year's.
The township estimates the tax rate would be 12.541 cents per $100 estimated assessed valuation, yielding a township tax bill of about $61.45 for a $165,000 house, an increase of $1.84, said Skillrud.
The township's proposed fiscal 2019 budget of $3.5 million covers general assistance programs for low- and moderate-income residents; the township's administrative costs, including the assessor’s office; and Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
The primary source of revenue for the township is property taxes.
"The increase is partly due to the unknowns with what's happening with the Affordable Care Act," said Skillrud.
Another factor is lower-than-normal reserves in the township's general assistance and general town funds because the levy has remained unchanged since 2014, said Skillrud.
The forecast for the end of fiscal 2019 on April 30, 2019, is for the township to have approximately seven months' worth of general assistance reserves. That is below the standard practice for township governments to have general assistance reserves equal to one year of expenditures, said Skillrud.
The township also is projecting it will have only five months' worth of reserves in the general town fund, which pays for administrative expenses. The standard practice is to have reserves equal to 18 months, but no lower than six months, she said.
So half of the $100,000 levy increase will be directed to general assistance client costs and the other half to the general town fund, said Skillrud.
The township, which has the same boundaries as the city, does not have a road fund.