The amount of property taxes O’Fallon requested is $277,592 less than last year and the same as 2014. A $100,000 house in O’Fallon will likely see the tax bill drop $18.80.
Belleville? They are taxing $1.2 million more, which will cost that $100,000 house owner from $30 to $80 more.
Notice how exact the calculation was for the O’Fallon savings? Notice how vague the Belleville tax liability? Guess we’ll know more when the summer property tax bills hit.
How did O’Fallon achieve the impossible?
“We are also evaluating our internal processes and staffing, and working to create efficiencies in order to keep costs low and still provide high-quality services,” O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach said. “I owe a great deal of thanks to O’Fallon’s city staff and the City Council for embracing this approach and making this accomplishment possible.”
In a nutshell, they acted like they are spending other people’s money, not like they are innocent victims of our big, bad state’s demands.
By the way, those state demands do not include seeking property taxes to provide charity. State law says “may,” which is a long way from “must.” It also allows excess township funds to go to schools or community agencies, meaning it doesn’t take government workers earning salaries and pensions to dole out help for the needy.
We could truly kill Belleville Township, not only in spirit but also in practice. But that requires the political will to let go of a few government jobs and to stop acting like we’re forced to take other people’s money, regardless of the purpose.
O’Fallon just proved that.