Endorsement: 'Yes' to borrow funds for Round Lake Park police pensions
Three years after Round Lake Park voters rejected the village's request for a property tax hike to fix its woefully underfunded police pension fund, the problem remains unsolved. The fund stands at about 24 percent of its anticipated liabilities, making it one of the lowest in Illinois. The state has filed complaints against the village, which faces troubling consequences if it can't right the ship soon. Police layoffs might be needed to make up the difference, or the state might divert into the pension fund tax dollars that would otherwise go into the village budget. Neither should be an acceptable outcome. So, the village is returning to voters with a ballot request to borrow $5.4 million to strengthen the fund. If approved, the bond sale would cost the owner of a house valued at $125,200 about $100 more per year. While the annual cost to individual taxpayers is about the same as in the failed 2013 rate hike request, village officials say the bond sale eventually will bring the fund to 100 percent. Village officials say they are now contributing what's mandated by law, but are hampered in doing more by their small budget and tax cap restrictions. As in 2013, the circumstances are unfortunate but voters have no good choices. A "yes" vote is recommended.