Rolling Meadows residents upset at property tax hike proposal

 
 
Updated 9/29/2017 1:40 PM

Some Rolling Meadows residents are expressing frustration over a proposed 4.8 percent city property tax levy increase to fund police and fire pensions, local roads and the city's general fund.

If the tax hike is approved by aldermen in November, it would mark the second year the city's property tax levy has gone up 4.8 percent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For the owner of a $250,000 house, it would mean paying an extra $54 for the year.

"We all manage our household accounts," 21-year resident Jenny Rumowski told aldermen at their Sept. 26 meeting. "We don't have somebody to go to when we need more money. I don't have any more to give you."

Rumowski, one of three residents who spoke against the levy increase, added that she was getting "nickel and dimed" by other taxes, including the Cook County sweetened beverage tax and now-higher state income tax.

City Finance Director Melissa Gallagher said much of the proposed increase has to do with funding the public safety pensions, which are currently about 50 percent funded. The tax hike would help provide full funding by 2033, versus 2041.

Tax levy line items for police and fire protection are also proposed to go back to previous levels, since they were reduced in previous years to provide more road funding instead, Gallagher said.

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The city council will take a first reading vote on the city and library tax levies on Nov. 14, followed by final second reading votes Nov. 28.

City officials have also proposed increases of 7 percent in the water rate, 5 percent in the sewer rate, and 5 percent in the stormwater rate. No increase is proposed for the refuse rate.

For a family of four using 8,000 gallons of water a month, that would equate to paying $7.64 more per month.

Officials say the increases would help pay for the city utility fund's administration, operation, water from the Joint Action Water Agency, and capital improvements.

On a first reading vote this week, the city council unanimously voted in favor of the new rates. A final vote is scheduled Oct. 10. The new stormwater rate would take effect in January and the water and sewer rates in March.

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