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Proposed Property Tax Rate Increase in East Moline

Residents of East Moline might pay higher property taxes next year. Tonight, the city council will consider raising tax rates for water and sewage maintenance, and garbage service.

The proposal is the result of a study last year that looked at the cost of water distribution and treatment, and sewer collection and treatment. 

City Administrator, Cole O'Donnell, says the proposed rate increases range from 1 cent to over 30 cents per 100 cubic feet, depending on the service and could start next year.

He says, "What we want to do is maintain our reserve balances--the amount of money left over-- at a certain amount each year so that in case there's an emergency, we have some funds we can dip into."

Council members will also consider raising tax rates for garbage collection for three years, starting next year. The current rate is $7.15 per month and could increase to $7.50 next year, and reach 7.80 in 2017.

O'Donnell says there's another option:

"The option then would remove some of that property tax subsidy, and shifts the property tax levy to the general fund. If we do that, then rates have to dramatically increase in order to cover costs."

The East Moline city council considered a similar tax rate increase proposal for garbage in the summer, but rejected it.

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.
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