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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Corporate levy to increase home value, not taxes

Rachel Cormier
City Manager Bill Nicklas discusses the city’s tax rates with the Council. The City Council approved the city’s annual property tax levy at the City Council meeting on Nov. 13. (Rachel Cormier | Northern Star)

DeKALB DeKalb homeowners won’t be seeing major changes to their taxes this year, but they will see their property values increase.

The city of DeKalb’s corporate levy for 2024 will be $1 million higher than last year’s.

The city’s corporate levy, the requested property tax dollars, of about $8.1 million for the 2023 fiscal year was approved at the City Council meeting on Monday.

DeKalb is projecting an EAV (Equalized Assessed Value) of $998 million with an estimated $170 million represented in new construction. 

The boom for the city’s EAV allows for increased property tax value to pay the unfunded Police and Fire pensions and General Fund revenues that would normally be paid by the levy.

Although the city approved a 14% higher levy than that of 2022, the tax rate will be 9.15% lower than the previous year, according to the city.

Mayor Cohen Barnes said the result allows DeKalb homeowners to expect their properties to rise in value without their taxes following. 

“We have here with this body showing leadership to put the taxpayer first, that it’s about time that they benefit from all this economic development that you said: historic or unprecedented,” Barnes said. “All those words are exactly what we’re in right now.”

Comparatively, DeKalb’s tax rate is at its lowest in 10 years since the rate was 0.7952 in 2012, compared to a rate of 0.9809 in 2013. The amount has since only increased until the current rate as of 2023.

The increase in EAV was attributed to the addition of four industrial companies, Meta, Ferrara, Wehrli and Amazon, which will contribute an estimated $150 million, according to the city.

While the final EAV numbers will not be released until late February or early March, the city hopes to match the low tax rates for the next few years, based on the expanding success of DeKalb’s economy.


A new collective bargaining agreement with the DeKalb Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #115, contains wage increases and entitles the department to expand its recruitment ability.

The three-year contract will last from Jan. 1, 2024 until Dec. 31, 2026 and includes a 2.5% wage increase for officers in 2024, followed by a 3% increase in 2025 and 3% more in 2026.

The new agreement follows the city’s commitment to reaching its desired threshold of 73 officers by the end of 2024. The department currently has 65 officers.

In addition, the requirement for DeKalb police officers to live within 30 miles of the police department, 700 W. Lincoln Highway, was expanded to a 40-mile radius. 

The expanded radius allows former officers who were forced to transfer to departments because they lived outside the radius to stay within the department.

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