Tax increase discussed at council meeting

By Marissa Novel

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. However, it is not certain how high the latter will rise for community members’ homes.

Carbondale residents and council members expressed opinions about a proposed property tax increase to fund pensions for police officers and firefighters at the Carbondale City Council Meeting Tuesday.

The city will need more than $170,000, a total city tax increase of 18.6 percent, for the pensions for fiscal year 2016.


“All of these are mandated expenses over which the city has limited control,” City Manager Kevin Baity said.

Baity said the total amount of pensions for police officers is more than $2 million. He said pensions for firefighters total more than $800,000.

Rebel Pinkston, of Carbondale, said the Carbondale Police Department has too many officers for its population.

He said he researched ratios of police officers to their populations in other college towns such as Edwardsville and DeKalb and found they are much lower than Carbondale.

“We need to find out why these other college towns basically get along with a lot less police officers than we do,” he said.

City council does not have to make a final decision until its meeting on Dec. 16.

If the city raised the full 18.6 percent, homeowners with property valued at $85,000 would see an increase of $13.19 per year; those with homes worth $100,000 an increase of $16.14 per year; and those with homes worth $150,000 an increase of $25.98 per year.


Marissa Novel can be reached at [email protected], on Twitter @marissanovelDE or at 536-3311 ext. 268.