City Council to consider annual property tax levy


Zulfiqar Ahmed

DeKalb mayor Cohen Barnes at the Aug. 23 City Council meeting.

By Elisa Reamer, News Editor

DeKALB — The DeKalb City Council will consider the annual property tax levy in the city on Monday. None of the property taxes that the council will levy will be used for general operations.

For 2022, there is a $1.28 million shortfall in the city’s pension funding and the ​​actuarial pension obligations for police and fire pensions, according to the Oct 25. City Council agenda. 20.33% of the projected General Fund expenditures will be dedicated to pensions in 2022. 

City Manager Bill Nicklas said that in order to discuss property taxes, people must look at the pension crisis because the city can’t put the money back into the community since the fire people and police need their pensions. 

“The City of DeKalb has been able to take some of that property tax and put it into pensions, but also they’d have some leftover for other things, like, streets and roads and buying trucks, doing stuff like that, other city expenses,” Nicklas said. “A formula for how the pension obligation is determined after you retire and what would come to you and your family if you die.” 

All pension funds must be 90% funded in 2040.

“The City Manager is working collaboratively with the Illinois Municipal League and the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois to press the state legislature and the recently consolidated state pension boards toward an actuarial cost method that can be sustained over time,” The agenda reads. 

A city levy of $6,845,317 would include only the city levy obligation for the fire and police pensions, according to the agenda. 

Council to discuss equipping new police interceptors 

The City Council will discuss an ordinance to spend $81,088 to equip the new police cars the city will purchase through a resolution passed on Sept. 28 with light bars and in-car technologies. 

Two of the vehicles will be used for ordinary purposes, one as a K9 vehicle and for the chief’s vehicle. 

“Morrow Ford holds the state bid for the provision and upfitting of vehicles, which includes push bumper, emergency lighting, center console and controls, prisoner seat and partition, and other ancillary equipment,” the agenda reads. “The K9 vehicle kennel and climate control system will add some cost, but the Chief’s vehicle only needs the basic items.” 

The City Council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the DeKalb Public Library, 309 Oak St., in the Yusunas Meeting Room.