Jacksonville aldermen approve liquor licenses, debate tax levy

By Ryne Turke on November 30, 2016 at 7:38am

Discussion on the 2016 City Tax Levy took up a bulk of Monday night’s Jacksonville Council meeting.

Based on numbers from the Morgan County Assessor’s Office, Jacksonville’s Equalized Assessed Valuation has been fairly stagnant since 2012.

Adam Withee with Zumbahlen, Eyth, Surratt, Foote & Flynn was at the meeting and says last night’s initial discussion broke down what increases and decreases would come into play for city property owners.

Withee says changing the tax levy percentage impacts each homeowner differently.

Withee says the State of Illinois allows for a five percent increase without doing a truth in taxation meeting, and that’s the number Aldermen Don Cook requested Jacksonville go with heading into the council meeting.

When it came time for discussion, motions were made to change the tax levy to one and three percent, but both failed to receive enough support from fellow aldermen.

Steve Warmowski and Jeff Hopkins were the only aldermen to vote against the first reading of the five percent tax levy increase. Approval of one more reading is required before the property tax increase is put in place.

In other action, alderman passed the first readings for a pair of liquor licenses in Jacksonville. The ordinances would allow Shopko to sell beer and wine and the Jacksonville Speedway to add 20 additional dates in the grandstand area for events involving alcohol. Any event taking place during the week at the Speedway must conclude at 11 p.m.

Eight additional acres of land is being added to the Diamond Grove Cemetery. Aldermen approved the purchase last night. The land was acquired with cemetery board funds. During the workshop session City Attorney Dan Beard mentioned the cemetery “very much needed the extra land.”