Princeton to decrease tax rate, but increased property values may lead to higher bills

Property values have increased by 8.26%

Princeton City Hall

The city of Princeton is projecting a decrease in its property tax rate but that will not mean a savings on most property tax bills because of increased assessed values.

City Manager Theresa Wittenauer said Monday the city, including its library, will levy roughly $2.2 million, leading to a projected tax rate of 1.33680, which is a drop of 3.21%. Wittenauer, however, acknowledged property values increased by 8.26% within Princeton’s taxing district, according to Bureau County. Council members also acknowledged properties assessed at a higher value by the county may end up paying more in their bills from the previous year, despite the projected rate decrease.

Wittenauer said she took into consideration the property value increases when proposing the levy to the council.

“It’s always been my mission to try keeping the tax rate stable without any huge increases,” Wittenauer said.

The city of Princeton, which includes the library, levied for about 4.78% more tax dollars than the previous year, meaning it did not require a truth-in-taxation hearing.

Wittenauer also reported the city is ahead of the game with its police and fire pensions. The city will fund 100% of the suggested amount for funding pensions.

Street superintendent job open

The city is accepting applications for street superintendent. The position works alongside, directs and coordinates the activities of the Street Department, Sanitation and Cemeteries, as well as supervising 14 full-time employees. The superintendent is responsible for $2.2 million in operational expenses.

Applications and job description can be found at or at City Hall, 2 S. Main St.. Applications are due by Friday, Dec. 15. Applications should be addressed to: City Manager, Street Superintendent Position, 2 S. Main St., Princeton, IL 61356.

City to lease internet fiber

The Princeton City Council put on file the first reading of a lease agreement with MTCO Communications to utilize dark internet fiber for 20 years from the Princeton Fairgrounds to 530 Park Avenue E. MTCO will pay a one-time cost of $13,077 to the city and annual maintenance costs of $787.50 per year (with an annual 1% increase).

Positively Princeton

Along with giving credit to the Lions Club, Princeton Area Chamber of Commerce and parade committee members for a successful launch of the inaugural lighted Christmas parade, Mayor Ray Mabry invited management of Culver’s to talk about their restaurant chain. Culver’s offers non-profit organizations throughout the region an opportunity to raise money through share nights. During these share nights, the non-profit organization volunteers to help Culver’s staff with delivering food to tables. The Princeton Rotary Club conducted a share night Dec. 4.

Public comments

A resident brought to the attention of the City Council most U.S. cities will have to replace lead water pipes within 10 years under strict new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Wittenauer said she was aware of the legislation and said the city applied for grant money for the initial phase of planning.

Another resident suggested establishing spring cleanup days. This would give residents an opportunity to throw out excessive garbage items on designated days.