City tax gains offset state cuts

Urbana income tax collections increase as jobless rate falls.


The city’s revenue is increasing because of improvements in income tax collections, but Urbana’s finance director said the majority of those gains are being offset by cuts to state funding and other sources of revenue.

Council members got a first look at the city’s appropriations budget last week, and revenues appear to be slightly higher than at the same time last year, said Lee Williams, Urbana’s finance director. The city’s total budget is expected to be about $15.9 million, compared to $15.4 million at this time last year, Williams said.

The city has seen an increase in the amount it collects from income taxes, in part due to additional jobs at Weidmann Electrical Technology Inc., which recently began operations at the former Neenah (Fox River) Paper Mill Site in Urbana. The unemployment rate has also dropped in Urbana, from 8 percent in January this year to 6.7 percent in August, according to figures released by the state.

However, those gains were largely offset by state cuts to Local Government Funds, along with the phase out of the tangible personal property tax, Williams said. In addition, a federal Staffing For Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant recently expired. The city had been using that roughly $285,000 grant since 2011 to cover the costs to keep two firefighters on its staff.

“Those are all haunting us,” Williams said of those reductions.

The increase in revenue will allow the city to hold off on additional staffing cuts, and to possibly add personnel to the Urbana Fire Division, or to hire a firefighter and a police officer, Williams said.

About 25 percent of the income tax is directed to the city’s capital improvement fund, which is not affected by cuts to state revenue. But the remaining 75 percent of the income tax is directed to the operating budget, which is affected by those cuts, Williams said.

The city has two budget cycles each year. In the spring, the tax budget provides an estimate of the revenue that will be available throughout the year. The appropriations budget, reviewed in the fall, provides an estimate of the city’s expenses.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Secret Service investigating Missouri lawmaker’s post
Secret Service investigating Missouri lawmaker’s post

The Secret Service is investigating comments made on social media by a Missouri state senator who reportedly said she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated, CNN reported. Democratic State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal's comment on personal Facebook page -- “I hope Trump is assassinated -- was deleted, but it has triggered...
Llama bolts onto golf course to save ducks from bear
Llama bolts onto golf course to save ducks from bear

Golfers in New Hampshire were startled Monday when a llama invaded the Eagle Mountain Golf Course. The llama, named Noir, escaped from its nearby home to protect a family of ducks from a bear, WGME reported. Golfers saw the animal on the sixth fairway of the course and called the police. Noir, owned by Russ Miller, jumped over the electric...
Florida prisons placed on lockdown
Florida prisons placed on lockdown

Florida prisons were placed on lockdown Thursday following reports of security threats.  The Florida Department of Corrections announced that it canceled weekend visitation at all institutions for Saturday and Sunday because of a possible security threat. Correction officials said they received information that indicated small groups of inmates...
Dog lost during windstorm found 2 years later
Dog lost during windstorm found 2 years later

A dog lost two years ago in a massive windstorm has been reunited with its owner, KHQ reported. Shanley Heinsma let her husky, Shadow, out of the house during the storm in Spokane, Washington. That was the last time she saw the dog. Heinsma posted the dog’s photo on Facebook and put up posters hoping that someone might have found it...
Woman denied refund after dog bought at pet store died 11 days later
Woman denied refund after dog bought at pet store died 11 days later

A puppy purchased by a woman at a Petland store in Robinson, Pennsylvania, died just 11 days later. Megan Ritchae said she bought Luna at Petland and she died 11 days later of parvo, a contagious virus that mainly affects dogs. Ritchae claims the owner and staff sent her a sympathy card, offering to refund the money she paid for the dog and the veterinarian...
More Stories