Urbana City Council recommends $7.3 million tax levy

Urbana City Council recommends $7.3 million tax levy

URBANA — The Urbana City Council has taken the first step toward its goal of keeping the city’s portion of next year’s property tax rate the same as this year’s.

Meeting on Tuesday as a committee of the whole, the council recommended approving a $7.3 million tax levy.

The council is scheduled to vote on that levy at its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Urbana City Council Chambers, 400 S. Vine St.

Interim Comptroller Rich Hentschel said the city’s levy one year ago was $7.7 million.

“The primary reason it is less this year is that Carle is now tax exempt,” Hentschel said. “So their share of the property tax levy is removed.”

Hentschel said the city council’s intent is to hold the tax rate paid by Urbana property owners at $1.355 per $100 of equalized assessed value.

The city council plans to vote on a resolution early next spring formally setting a property tax rate cap at $1.355 per $100 of equalized assessed value, according to Chief of Staff Mike Monson.

If the property tax rate is set at that amount, Hentschel predicted that the owner of a $150,000 home in Urbana will pay $596 for the city’s portion of his or her property taxes in 2014.

The city anticipates collecting $7.1 million with the rate cap in place, Monson said.

The committee of the whole also recommended the full council appoint a citizen’s commission to study police traffic stops.

“It is very important we get this right,” said Alderman Eric Jakobsson. “On one hand, we face issues of fairness. On the other hand we face issues of public safety.”

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