Addressing DeKalb Public Library’s proposed 14%-plus levy increase

During DeKalb’s public hearing on its property tax levy, which includes the library’s levy, several people spoke out about the library’s plan to increase its take by more than 14%. They requested the city council hold library trustees accountable for the request, which they view as irresponsible. DeKalb claims that it must approve any levy…

Regarding DeKalb Library’s other loan

Here’s an excerpt from my latest at DeKalb County Online: Thanks to recent discussion of DeKalb Public Library’s plan to pay back taxpayers for emergency help with its expansion project, much of DeKalb knows about DKPL’s $4.5 million bank loan to keep construction going during Illinois’ budget impasse. Not many know about the bank loan…

Mayor’s statement about DeKalb Public Library’s tax promises

Mayor Smith came out this week in support of calls for DeKalb Public Library to keep its 2015 promises to repay taxpayers, and says he is confident the DKPL board “will do the right thing.” Related: DeKalb County Online: DeKalb Public Library and its property tax promises City Barbs: Going deeper on DeKalb Public Library’s…

Going deeper on DeKalb Public Library’s expansion and promises

The main thing you need to know is that DeKalb Public Library made promises to DeKalb property taxpayers in 2015, and now is considering breaking its promises. But I couldn’t resist putting together some FAQs for anyone who might like more details. How much did the expansion cost? Total cost was $25.3 million. At center…

Local EAV and TIF Performance

DeKalb County has placed online a variety of property tax information at DeKalbCounty.org. Among the reports are breakdowns of Equalized Assessment Value (EAV) by type of zoning, which include farm, residential, commercial, industrial, and railroad properties. In City of DeKalb, the two top property tax-producing categories are residential and commercial. You can see below that…

This is Why Your DeKalb City Property Taxes Have Gone Up So Much

People have been asking me why their city property taxes went up sharply this year. While much of it has to do with your assessment, of course, here’s the rest of the story. [table id=95 /] Until recently, City of DeKalb levied property taxes for pensions and FICA only. I went back as far as…

What the hiring spree has ruined

Former DeKalb Alderman Pam Verbic wrote current Mayor Rey a detailed letter regarding the upcoming property tax levy vote. Find it here. I hope you will read the whole thing. Each of Ms. Verbic’s points is well taken and stands on its own. I don’t intend to rehash the letter. But her #4 relates closely…

Half of DeKalb is Doing Well Enough to Compare to Others

The agenda for last night’s joint meeting between DeKalb city council members and the city’s Finance (sic) Advisory Committee included a list of 14 communities besides DeKalb and their “comparable economic data.” The argument seems to be that DeKalb taxpayers can afford to pay more in property taxes than the “bargain” they are currently getting…