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Mt. Vernon leaders propose property tax increase

MT. VERNON (WSIL) — Mt. Vernon residents could possibly see a property tax increase after the city’s mandated pension contribution for 2020 increased to $491,105. The effect of the proposed tax levy increase on a home with a median value of $75,200 would be an annual increase of approximately $41 or about $3.50 per month.  

City leaders explain the mandated pension contribution is directly related to and calculated on the value of the pension fund on December 31, 2018 for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and on April 30, 2019 for the Police and Firefighters pension funds, which has caused a significant increase this year in the pension obligation.

The IMRF pension obligation increased 38.59 percent, the firefighters pension obligation increased 15.37 percent and the police pension contribution increased 7.92 percent resulting in 13.11 percent increase in the tax levy.

Mayor John Lewis says the city was blindsided by the amount and the city tried its best to prevent a property tax increase, "We don’t know. We just keep getting hit with these bills and there is no money and she [city manager]  has cut everything to the bone."

Mary Ellen Bechtel, the city manger explains, "We’ve studied this we looked at it in every way we considered how we could manage this obligation without putting it out on the tax levy and the burden on the property taxes."

The city plans to discuss this proposal at the November 18 city council meeting. The public is welcome to attend.

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