Oglesby’s tax rate to jump 8 cents

Mayor: It’s a one-time fix to correct past error

Oglesby City Hall

Oglesby’s tax rate will climb about 8 cents and the city will host a hearing to explain why it’s going up.

Monday, the Oglesby City Council scheduled a Truth-in-Taxation hearing for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4 (a half hour before the regularly-scheduled council meeting) because the city is increasing its levy more than 5%, the maximum increase allowed without a hearing.

Based on projections, an Oglesby resident with a home valued at $100,000 would have paid the city about $525 this past May. That total will jump to nearly $700 next May, depending on how home values are assessed.

Why the change? It’s actually good news and bad news.

The good news is the city’s taxable value has grown and the projected tax rate is lower than what it was two years ago. Oglesby’s tax base is trending the right direction.

The bad news is there was an error last year when a Tax Increment Financing district expired and the rate was not properly adjusted. (Who was at fault is disputed.) Mayor Jason Curran said the council needs to fix it with what he hopes will be a one-time jump.

“Even with the one time jump, the tax base has improved so well that the rate is still going to be lower than what it was two years ago, even after the increase,” Curran said.

Oglesby residents could also see the city’s rate increase offset by other cuts to their tax bill. Oglesby schools, for example, will cut its rate by 2 cents. (See sidebar)

Separately, the council has launched the first phase in a spruce-up of City Hall.

The council voted 3-1 (Commissioner Terry Eutis was absent) approved an estimate from Five Star Flooring ($18,200) for work planned at City Hall. The council also voted to place on file plans for $25,000 in additional modifications to be discussed Dec. 4.

Curran voted no, arguing the plans were sprung on him – “This is the first I’m seeing this” – and he believed additional public discussion was required.

Finally, the city awarded facade improvement grants to Bon Voyage, $35,000 (project cost: $209,000); Greg Boggio, $4,630.25 (project cost: $9,261), and Zamin Insurance, $2,375 (project cost: $4,750).

Oglesby Elementary trimmed its tax rate

Oglesby City Hall anticipates a tax increase. That will be partially offset by Oglesby Elementary, which will pass a small savings to taxpayers.

Oglesby Elementary Superintendent Michael Pillion released figures showing a nearly 7% increase in the district’s equalized assessed valuation, or the taxable value of all properties within the district.

That growth turned into a projected 2-cent savings in the district’s tax rate.

“We are looking at a rate of around $3.09, which is the lowest rate for our district that I could find going back to the 1990s,” Pillion said. “Our previous rate of $3.11 was already the lowest rate I could find going back to the 90s and now it looks like it will drop off a couple cents more.”

An Oglesby resident with a home valued at $100,000 would have paid the grade schools about $1,028. If property values remain the same, that homeowner would save about $8.

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