Metro-East News

Collinsville urges state to protect local tax dollars

The Collinsville City Council resolved Monday to urge the governor and state legislature to protect funding to local government via the state income tax.

The resolution approved by the council at its meeting Monday expresses concern about Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed 50-percent reduction in the amount of state income tax that would be provided to city governments. The resolution states that the General Assembly raised the state income tax without providing those revenues to local governments.

City officials estimate that Collinsville will lose more than $1.24 million per year if the governor’s reduction is approved. The resolution stated that such a reduction in the cities’ portion of income taxes would lead to increased local and sales taxes as well as the elimination of jobs and services to residents.

The council also approved line item changes in the budget, reflecting that a city clerk and a police major have both retired. Mayor John Miller also announced the retirement of water-department employee Donald Kessler who has worked for the city since 1976. “He’s been very dedicated as an employee and servant of the city of Collinsville,” Miller said. The council also approved the $19,000 salary for a part-time fire marshal.

Business owner Joe Ashmann spoke to the council requesting “town hall” style meetings so that the public could have more dialogue with residents. Councilwoman Karen Woolard said she would be in favor of it, since council meetings have been shorter in recent months. Miller said he was open to the idea, but would like to explore what other councils do to allow more dialogue without letting it devolve into loud debates or personal name-calling.