City Council approves tax levy, Capital Improvements Plan

Presentation to Chief Eric Van Hook from LtCol Yon Dugger for his service as the Honorary Commander to the 375th Security Squadron at Scott AFB. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Martha Stoffel)

By Martha Stoffel

City Council approved on first reading the 2018 tax levy and the 2020-2024 Capital Improvements Plan Monday night. The proposed tax levy request is $6,688,900, a 0.86% increase from 2017. A tax levy request is based on a dollar amount, not a rate, so the city tax rate will be determined upon final calculation by the county of the City’s total Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) from property assessments. The levy will be voted on by council for a second reading at the December 3rd council meeting and submitted to the county after that, but the tax rate will not be set by the county until April 2019.

The preliminary estimates from the county regarding the EAV is an overall growth of 1.1% over last year. The city saw a 24% increase from the previous year in disabled veterans exemptions, which reduced the rate setting EAV by $45,838,113. The St. Clair County Board of Review has projected a reduction in EAV of $2.1 million from property tax appeals.  The city is expecting the county to apply a 1.02% multiplier for both O’Fallon and Caseyville Township, raising the EAV by approximately $6.9 million. 

Despite the 0.86% increase to the levy, staff is projecting the city’s tax rate to go down slightly from last year because of the 1.1% total increase to the rate setting EAV. 

Council received a presentation at the October 29th Committee of the Whole of the 5-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) and again at the November 12th Finance committee meeting. The presented CIP is for the period of May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2024, fiscal years 2020 – 2024. Each city department included projects and funding sources. Implementation of projects are based on available revenue when the budget is put in place each year and approved by council, so listed projects may or may not occur in the fiscal year presented.

The 2020-2024 Capital Improvements Plan totals $66,721,423 worth of projects, with $25,732,823 for FY2020. Almost eighty-eight percent of the CIP projects are for public infrastructure, with vehicles (6.6%) and equipment (5.7%) representing the next two largest project categories. The CIP will be a helpful tool when staff sets the upcoming budget. 

After a motion from Ward 6 alderman Ned Drolet, and approval by council 12-2, the ordinance adding a Mobile Food Vehicle Vendor License and Fee will be sent back to the Community Development Committee. Drolet indicated the ordinance did not have a second reading in committee, and wanted to make sure that the community had the opportunity to speak or not regarding this ordinance before the final reading during Council. The ordinance will appear at next Monday’s Community Development committee meeting.