Urbana looking to keep property tax rate the same
URBANA — As promised earlier this year, the city will do its best to keep next year's property tax rate the same as homeowners paid this year despite Carle Foundation properties being dropped from the tax rolls.
The trade-off was the quarter-cent sales tax increase the city council approved earlier this year, but Mayor Laurel Prussing said the move is to keep at least some of the pressure off property tax rates as other taxing bodies approve large increases.
City council members will meet as the committee of the whole at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Urbana City Building, 400 S. Vine St., to review the proposed tax plans.
In prior years, Urbana has tried to match Champaign's property tax rate. It is unlikely it will be able do that this year, but Prussing said at least the city tax rate will not go up from its current $1.355 per $100 of equalized assessed value.
"I don't know if we can equal Champaign's rate this year, but I think our goal is to not raise the rate," Prussing said.
The Champaign City Council is on course to finalize a $1.3152 rate at its next regular meeting.
City officials are expecting the move to not raise property taxes will actually cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars after $61 million worth of Carle Foundation property was removed from the tax rolls this year. That is nearly 11 percent of the city's taxable property.
City officials will know for sure how much they can expect to lose in April, when tax assessments are finalized.
The Carle property was declared tax-exempt following the implementation of a new state law, which makes the hospital eligible for tax-free status if its charity care exceeds the amount it owes in property taxes.
City officials think Presence Covenant Medical Center could make a similar move, which would put the city further in the hole.
Prussing expects the total property tax a homeowner pays this year will go up, but not because of the city, which is only responsible for roughly 15 percent of a taxpayer's bill.
It's "pretty much entirely Carle driven," Prussing said. "If you see what the park district did, they're going to have like a 13 percent increase in the rate."