Metro-East News

St. Clair County Board approves property tax levy increase for 2019

St. Clair County Board members approved a 5 percent property tax levy increase for 2019 at their meeting Monday night, though this does not mean next year’s property taxes will increase by the same amount.

The tax levy increased from the $68 million tax levy approved for this year to $71.5 million for 2019, though the actual tax burden won’t be calculated until the spring.

The county will decide then how much to abate, according to County Administrator Debra Moore. In 2017, for example, the county abated $26.9 million of the total levy, only collecting roughly $37.8 million of the total requested, according to previous BND reports.

In 2018, the county collected $39 million after an abatement of $29 million, Moore said.

Local governments set their property tax levy based on the maximum number they will need to cover their budgets in the coming year, but the value of the property they’re taxing won’t be known until the spring.

In the spring when the values are assessed, the county can retrofit the tax rate to what the county actually needs to collect to pay the bills. That’s when the county abates the tax levy, usually to a lower amount.

Board Members Fred Boch, Craig Hubbard, C. David Tiedemann, Nicholas Miller and Kevin Dawson voted against the tax levy.

In other business, the county plans to sell 15.6 acres of land near Rieder Road to construction equipment dealer Bobcat of St. Louis after Board members approved the sale. The company plans to use the land for new and used construction equipment sales along with service and rentals, according to the County Board.

St. Clair County plans to sell this parcel of land to Bobcat of St. Louis. Provided

The company has a location in Fairview Heights that will close if the sale goes forward in St. Clair County, according to county Economic Development Director Terry Beach. The business needs more space to expand its services, Beach said. The Fairview Heights location sits on only a few acres.

State and federal governments need to issue waivers to approve the sale, Beach said. That process could be completed by March next year.

The land will go for $50,000 per acre. The parcel sits between Shiloh Valley Township Road and Interstate 64 just west of Rieder Road.

Last year, the Illinois Department of Transportation built a new exit from Interstate 64 to Rieder Road.

In other business

  • Board members gave MidAmerica Airport the go-ahead to pursue a Federal Aviation Administration grant to make major renovations at the airport’s passenger terminal. The grant is worth $24 million to $28 million, though the county would still have to pay up to $7 million for the project. Board members Tiedemann and Hubbard voted against the proposal.
  • The County Board approved preliminary engineering agreement with Thouvenot Wade & Moerchen, Inc. for an application to a state program that would help pay to replace the Imbs Station Road bridge over a branch of Richland Creek. The contract amount was for $4,900. The 2024 Illinois Special Bridge Program helps fund bridge improvements.

  • The county entered into an $85,200 agreement with job search site Monster. The services provided by Monster will include job postings, resume access and job applicant tracking.

  • Board members approved the $24,905 purchase of a 2018 Ford van for prisoner transportation.