NORMAL — Residents will get a chance Monday to sound off on a proposed tax hike of almost 6 percent for Normal property owners.
The Normal City Council will host a public hearing at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor at Uptown Station before its regular meeting, which is expected to include approval of a $13 million property tax levy, which would be large enough to trigger a 5.9 percent tax rate hike. State law requires a "truth in taxation" hearing for levy increases of more than 5 percent.
The rate is expected to rise from $1.4115 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation to $1.4949 per $100 EAV for the taxes payable in 2018.
The owner of a $165,000 home would see the town's share of their tax bill increase by about $40 to about $816.
Last month, council members said they dislike raising taxes but are hamstrung by the state, which requires municipalities to fund pensions at a specific level while also adding fees on municipalities that cut into resources they might use to make the payments.
Council member Jeff Fritzen defended the cost of funding police and firefighter pension systems.
"When you're the one with an issue, who do you want showing up? Do you want top-flight, well-trained personnel ... or are you going to settle for something else? We choose not to settle for something else in Normal, and this is our obligation," he said.
In other business, the council will consider approving:
• A redevelopment agreement for 1404 Fort Jesse Road that will help a local auto body repair shop expand.
The town plans to sell the land for $30,000 to Eric Werkman, who would build a shop there and move from his current location at 306 Pine St. He would be required to invest $655,000 and follow a series of timelines that would see the business constructed in about a year.
• A settlement with Illinois State University apartment owners over property values expected to bring in $1.4 million for local taxing bodies. The deal ends a three-year legal battle that reached the state's Property Tax Appeal Board.
• The town's 2018-2023 Community Investment Plan, which spells out capital spending for the near future.