Rock Falls City Administrator Robbin Blackert had the unpleasant task at the Tuesday City Council meeting to lay out the details of why the 13% tax increase on property taxes was needed.
Blackert pointed out how a mere 5 years ago Rock Falls was one of 30 cities in Illinois with 100% funded pensions. The state then decided to change the way the payment amounts were figured because of the number of other cities not at 100% with fire and police pensions.
Blackert stated this course of action was unavoidable and it is no one in the cities fault. She went on to say the blame for the need to drastically raise the taxes rests clearly on the state and the state has to fix it.
Blackert pointed out that over the past 5 years the amount of money the city is paying into pensions has gone up 154%. She went on to say 59% of all new tax revenue goes directly into pensions. Blackert and Mayor William Wescott warned that if something is not done at the state level, then even tougher choices will need to be made in the not too distant future.