The Jacksonville City Council looks to keep the property tax rate the same as in 2021. During Monday night’s regular meeting, the Jacksonville City Council voted on a first reading of the 2022 tax levy.
During the workshop discussion, City Clerk Skip Bradshaw said that after reviewing the numbers from the police and fire pension fund boards, the council was given two proposals, one for raising the levy by one percent or leaving it at zero.
Following the unanimous vote during the regular meeting, Bradshaw said there was really only one choice to make. “Well the proposal is for a zero percent increase for the City of Jacksonville, that’s the bottom line. Normally we can go up to as much as 5%. In the past it’s been years we’ve done 5% a lot, then we started dropping down to 3.75, 2, 1.375, whatever. The last two years have been zero, and the city is doing fine as far as finances.”
Bradshaw says the change in pension funding needed between the police and fire was nearly a wash. “The police pension went up about forty-five thousand. The fire pension went down- their request went down. So that enabled us to basically increase the tax levy by about twenty-three-five, which is probably about the smallest I’ve ever seen and I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years. So, I mean it’s a small increase compared to years past.”
Bradshaw says the difference between a 0% increase and a 1% increase would have only netted the city $44,500.00. He says the city is in good financial shape so the amount was not worth an increase at this time.
Mayor Andy Ezard says it takes the work of many all year long to keep the city on track and able to put off another increase. “I give credit to my department heads and our aldermen for doing the right things. Sooner or later we are probably going to have to raise it, but we are in a good position right now so for the taxpayers of the City of Jacksonville, we’re going to stay at zero.”
If the council approves the second reading of the levy, it would make the second consecutive year that Jacksonville has passed a zero percent increase in annual property taxes.