Lester "Les" Plotner, city treasurer, explained to the committee that
the 2007 tax levy, which is subject to tax cap law, totaled
$1,368,717.51, and that 4.1 percent of that total would come to
$56,117.42 of additional revenue that can be assessed through
The treasurer said that what had to be done, was "figure out what
we would do to spread that $56,000, as well as we can, plus take
care of the needs that we have in the various funds."
In the general corporate fund, the amount of $24,000 in 2007 was
dropped to $10,000, while the liability insurance fund dropped from
$200,000 to $126,734. The funds gained by decreasing these two line
items will be added back to cover necessary increases in other
One increase will be in the Social Security fund. Plotner
explained that the total allotted would go from $50,000 to $90,000.
The reason for this increase is that in past years excess cash in
the Social Security allotment had been used to cover expenses in
other areas. He commented, "When you rob Peter to pay Paul, pretty
soon Peter needs money, so we're back in that position."
The city of Lincoln matches employee contributions to the
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. During a phone conversation with
Plotner, he stated that for a while there was more money in the fund
than was actually needed. Consequently, for a couple of years, the
city assessed less tax for that fund. Now, however, they have
reached a point that there is no excess, and the amount being
appropriated this year is a reflection of the actual cash demand for
the retirement match.
Regarding the firemen's and police pension lines, each would
increase by $11,000, or approximately 3 percent over the 2007 levy
Plotner explained that the last two items on the levy allocation
are not included in the tax cap law. Consequently the total increase
of $56,117.42 is reflected in the previously mentioned items only.
[to top of second column]
For the 2008 tax levy, both the debt services (general obligation
bond) and an additional fund for firemen's pensions have both been
The general obligation bond was calculated at $174,375 for 2008,
a reduction of $4,056.75 from 2007.
An additional line regarding an adjustment of widows' benefits
for the firemen's pensions was created after an Illinois state law
change in 2003. Currently, two people who were benefiting from that
fund have died, and that line has been reduced from $20,660 to only
While the items under the restrictions of tax cap reflect the
$56,000 increase, the increase of the tax levy on the whole will be
considerably less. Also added to the levy would be $314,000 for line
items such as wages, audit and ESDA, bringing the total levy amount
to $1,601,463 for 2008.
Compared with the total of $1,567,679 from 2007, this constitutes
a net change in the tax levy of only $33,784.
Even though the 2008 levy increase is less than 5 percent, which
would mandate a public hearing, Plotner felt that it would still be
for the best to hold a "Truth in Taxation" hearing. The hearing is
scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m., in the council chambers at City
Hall, and will be open to the public for anyone wishing to attend
with comments regarding the levy.
[By NILA SMITH]
What does the city get and what do they do with it?
(Allocation of 2007 tax levy)