City's real estate taxes hot topic to some residents
Alderman Buzz Busby said that since real estate taxes were paid
around July 1, "I have heard from 25 to 30, or probably more.
Citizens approach me and say, 'City taxes are too high.'"
Busby said that he had already taken the time before he was
approached -- he normally does this -- to break the figures down and
see if our taxes really did go up.
He said that he likes taking a round figure, say $3,000 of taxes
paid. Of this amount, the city would get $378.90. Of that amount,
$188.31 would go to state-mandated pension funds, leaving $190.59
for the city to use.
The county would get $269.10. Of that amount, $70.18 would go to
county pensions, leaving $198.92 for the county to use. What's left
to use after pensions is more than what the city has to use.
The Lincoln Park District gets $256.20: $18.51 for pensions and
$237.69 for actual use. That's $50 more than the city gets for use,
Heartland Community College was increased almost 14 percent.
School districts get 58.85 percent.
"So, when people say the city taxes are high, I doubt it. I don't
want to raise taxes, but we are in dire need. And, I'm not asking to
raise taxes," Busby said.
He doubted raising taxes was even a possibility, as he believed
the city to be at the maximum levy.
The mayor thanked Busby, saying she agreed. "I think people don't
know or realize where their tax dollars are going," she said.
City could clean state sewer
A request from a state agency to jet a sewer line was bandied
about once again. The request, made by a Mr. Short on behalf of the
prison south of Lincoln, was tabled two weeks ago. Last week it was
discussed that the city has set new policy since a prior time when
the request was last made and granted, about three years ago.
The current policy was made to protect the city from liability
for damage either to the private portion of a sewer line, or if
there would be backups into the basement of the property worked on,
and also to protect the city's investment in equipment. This policy
affects private residences and businesses.
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However, the mayor said that she thinks it is important to maintain
relationships with other government agencies whenever possible.
There could be quid pro quo in services. She checked with city
attorney Bill Bates and he confirmed that an intergovernmental
agreement could be created that would allow the work to be done.
Alderwoman Wanda Lee Rohlfs asked if the agreement would make it
so that "it would not be on the back of the city," and it was
confirmed that an agreement of this sort would relieve the city of
Special two-day event at the races approved for October
On Oct. 10 and 11, a Friday and Saturday, the Lincoln Speedway is
planning a big event.
Alderwoman Jonie Tibbs said that the promoters are saying the
event could bring 5,000 people to town. This would be good for our
businesses, Tibbs said. It would bring a whole lot of people to
camp, stay in local motels, eat out and shop, she said.
Race curfews were set for this year for Saturdays and Sundays.
The council placed an 11 p.m. curfew on the Friday race to match the
Alderwoman Marty Neitzel recognized a visitor, Camille Springer
of Chestnut Health Systems. Neitzel said that Springer has been
serving the community with her on the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other
Drugs Task Force.
New cable programming
A communication from Comcast was read. As a utility serving
residents of the city of Lincoln, the cable company Comcast is
subject to city regulation and has agreed to communicate changes.
Beginning in August, the business plans to offer a full lineup of
400 Big Ten events. Another program for families, "High on Life,"
featuring positive lifestyles, also would begin later in August.
[By JAN YOUNGQUIST]