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Government - Local

City of Plano property taxes should remain the same for 2018

Council also updated on new outdoor water meter installation

Plano residents will not see any increase in the city’s portion of the levy for 2017 taxes, City Council members were told at a recent city council meeting. The total levy, minus debt service, is $1,793,701 which is 20 cents lower than last year, Mayor Bob Hausler told council members. Hausler said the levy has been the same amount for several years.

The city’s total rate is 0.8910 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

By fund, the levy includes $13,000 for the Annual Audit, $340,200 for the Police Department, $16,000 for Workers Compensation, $9,000 for Unemployment Compensation, $46,000 for Tort Liability Insurance, $91,500 for Parks, $56,548 for Debt Service, $198,000 for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, $248,000 for Social Security, $316,016 for the Police Pension Fund, and $515,985 for the General Corporate Fund.

The levy for each fund is the same or slightly less than it was last year.

The total city budget is $14,185,076. The remainder of the revenue will come from various fees, charges and taxes other than property taxes, Hausler said.

In other business during the council’s Dec. 11 meeting:

New water meters: Council members learned that the new outdoor water meter reading equipment will be installed at all homes by February.

Water Superintendent Josh Beyer said his department has installed most of the 2,624 new meters outside to replace the old ones, some of which are inside homes. “We’ve done a lot of work in a short time,” he said.

Some of the existing meters were installed in basements, making them more difficult to remove, he noted.

The new meters can be read from outside the home at any time, he said.

He said the city recently purchased a new fixed network system of equipment that will be mounted on the city’s two water towers. This will allow the new meters throughout the city to be read from those two locations, relaying the information back to the city offices and eliminating the need for someone to visit every home to read the meters.

In a memo to the council, Beyer said a good reliable water meter reading system is the backbone of the city’s water and wastewater systems.

“It is critical in providing revenue to fund personnel, capital improvements and overall maintenance needs to both systems,” he said.

Beyer said a reliable meter reading system also provides fair and accurate billing for the residents by eliminating the need for estimating customers’ water usage, which will reduce the possibility of over-billing.

Property tax abatements: Abatements in several property tax payments by the city were approved at Monday’s city council meeting.

City Attorney Tom Grant said the county clerk each year reviews the bond files for all taxing bodies, to determine the amount the county needs to levy to pay the principal and interest cost for the levies.

He said Plano tells the county to abate or not collect property taxes if the city will make principal and interest payments from another source such as sales taxes collected by the city.

According to the ordinance, the city asked the county clerk to cancel and abate $213,261 from the 2017 tax levy for property taxes to be collected in 2018, and pay this amount from sales taxes collected by the city.

If the state were to make changes in the collection of sales taxes by the city, this abated amount would then come from the property taxes levied by the county, he said.

The council also took the same action on other tax abatement resolutions.

One was for $4 million in General Obligation bonds issued in 2011, Grant said. He noted that the council was abating $183,964 from the property tax levy to be made up from utility taxes collected by the city.

The next one was for $3,080,000 General Obligation bonds issued in 2016, he said, adding that the city was asking the county to abate $112,491 from the property tax levy to be made up from utility taxes collected by the city.

The next ordinance was for two abatements in the 2014 series of bonds issued for the Lakewood Springs project Special Service Areas Number 1 and 2. Grant said the city had issued Special Tax Bonds totaling $15,750,000 for these areas. He said the property taxes needed for Area 1 total $755,262, but the city asked that $162,844 of these taxes be abated, leaving $592,418 to be paid from the 2017 property tax levy. The total levy for Area 2 is $703,286, of which the city asked that $153,116 be abated, leaving $550,170 to be paid from the 2017 property tax levy.

The next abatement was for Areas 3 and 4 of Lakewood Springs, Grant said. For Area 3, the city needs taxes totaling $730,312. Grant said the city asked that $162,726 be abated, leaving $567,586 to be paid from the 2017 property tax levy. Grant said the Area 4 2017 taxes needed total $604,464, of which the city asked that $134,681 be abated. This leaves $469,783 to be paid from the 2017 property tax levy.

The last abatement is for the Series 2007 bonds issued for Lakewood Springs Unit 7A, which was never started. Grant said the city has asked that the entire $559,287 in property taxes for this unit be abated.

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