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R.I May Raise Levy & Other Charges

It will probably cost more to live in Rock Island next year. Monday night, the city council will hold a public hearing on next year's tax levy, and consider raising the charges for treating waste water and storm water.

Finance Director Stephanie Masson is proposing an increase in the levy of 981,000 dollars, or 7.7 per cent.

"The biggest reason for the increase is what drives a lot of tax levies in local governments in Illinois, is public safety pensions. Public safety pensions increased 381,000 over the prior year. "

The increased levy will also provide more money for the parks department and library.

Under her budget, Masson says the owner of a 100,000 dollar home in Rock Island would pay an additional four dollars a month, or 48 dollars per year.

Currently the city charges a gas tax of five cents per gallon, with the money going into the general fund. Starting next year, the revenue will go into a separate fund just for street improvements.

"But it's a painful change because that action that the council took, that policy decision, took that 500,000 dollars away from general fund purposes. But it will be in a separate fund and allocated to street improvement projects. "

Rock Island's tax levy accounts for about one quarter of the total property tax bill for residents of the city - the rest goes to the school district, county, community college, and townships. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.