No property tax increase in Rockford’s proposed 2020 budget

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — City leaders presented aldermen with a $163 million budget for 2020 on Monday, which does not include an increase in property taxes.

The budget also doesn’t include potential revenue from a potential Rockford casino, because the City says “Without a clear understanding of projected tax revenue and timing of issuance of a temporary license by the Illinois Gaming Board, no new revenue is programmed into the 2020 budget.”

Ditto a 3% tax passed Monday night on recreational marijuana sales: the City has not included potential revenue from the marijuana tax in the budget, because it says definitive rules and a time frame for cannabis licenses hasn’t been issued yet.

The city’s property tax levy would remain the same, which the City says could cost it $1.05 million in revenue.

Staffing and servicing levels would also go unchanged.

A recent electric and natural gas utility tax hike helped.

“We knew though that would be a short term fix for our budget issues, because the revenue source is not growing at the same pace our expenses are growing,” said Carrie Hagerty the Finance Director of Rockford. “We were able to come up with a balanced budget this year despite a $2.2 million increase in our pension contributions for next year. But we understand that’s not going to last forever.”

The proposed budget now goes before the Rockford City Council, who must pass a 2020 budget by the end of March.

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