O’Fallon Council begins early discussion on 2018 tax levy

By Martha Stoffel

O’FALLON – The Finance and Administration committee received a preliminary proposal from the Director of Finance with regards to the tax levy for 2018. 

Based on current projections from the St. Clair County Assessor’s office for the rate setting Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV), an expected 1.02% multiplier for O’Fallon Township and Caseyville Township, a 23% increase to disabled veteran exemptions and pending property tax appeals, the staff is basing the preliminary levy off $681,608,384 EAV. This represents an overall increase in taxable value of 1.1% 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 EAV from property assessments. The proposed tax levy request is $6,688,900, a 0.86% increase from 2017. Current EAV projections have staff estimating the requested tax rate to be 0.9813, up from 0.9837 in 2017. If the final EAV comes back higher, the tax rate will be lower, and vice versa.

Staff has requested a reduction for the fire pension because it is fully funded. They also requested $86,470 less for social security because of reserves in that fund already. Last year council approved a reduction for EMS from $1.2 million to $350,000 because of their reserves, but staff is recommending the amount be raised to $500,000 this year. The IMRF (retirement account) increased $22,000 to meet city responsibilities. All other accounts remain unchanged from 2017. 

The City of O’Fallon uses property taxes to pay for services such as police, fire, ambulance, streets, parks and general administrative functions. Property taxes comprise only 1% of the City’s budget revenue and are roughly 10% of a taxpayer’s tax bill. The preliminary proposal will be presented again at the Finance and Administration committee on November 12 before heading to council for approval.