City Council Proposes 0% Tax Levy for 2021

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 22, 2021 at 8:42pm

Jacksonville residents might be a bit taken aback when they open their property tax bill next year if a new ordinance is passed next month.

The Jacksonville City Council met in regular session Monday night and among items on the agenda, the Council heard a first reading of the 2021 Tax Levy Ordinance.

Alderman don Cook called for a meeting of the Finance Committee for discussion ahead of the workshop session at 5:45 pm. During the workshop, City Clerk Skip Bradshaw announced that fire and police pension request numbers have come in, and this year one fund was up a little while the other was down.

He said it’s rare that the requests come in lower than the previous year and that was one of the reasons the Finance Committee has recommended setting the 2021 Tax Levy at zero.

Mayor Andy Ezard said following the meeting that even though this is only the first reading of the ordinance, keeping the tax bills the same as the previous year is a goal the city has been working toward for a long time.

We are in a position this year where we are going to go with a zero tax levy. We’ve been working towards this goal, you know, for years now. We’ve lowered it every time for about the last five years but this time we decided that revenue streams are up as far as sales tax and things, and the pensions are steady so we are going to go zero percent.

We’ve heard the concerns from the community about the taxes, and property taxes, and things. You know it’s the first reading and things can change, and we do have obviously expenses and there’s more coming. But for one year at least it can go to zero.”

If approved by the Council at the next meeting in December, the 2021 Tax Levy will remain at zero percent. The City is required to have the levy submitted to the County by the last Monday in December.

The Jacksonville City Council will next meet on Monday, December 13th, which will be the only meeting of the Council before the end of the year.