ON-AIR: Urbana tax rates decrease, tax bill will still increase

By Sara Rose

The Urbana City Council has passed an ordinance that sets next year’s property tax rate at $1.29. This is a reduction of the current rate of $1.31.

While the tax rate has decreased, Urbana residents will still see an increase in next year’s tax bills.

Urbana City Council member Heather Stevenson explains.

“The Cunningham Assessor currently estimates that Urbana value will increase a total of 8.15 percent. A property owner of a home valued at $125,000 last year would have paid to the city $484. Next year they would pay approximately $500 which is obviously about a 3.3% increase.”

The City’s rate has decrease 12.7 percent over the past ten years. However, property value has steadily increased causing a raise in tax bills.

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Stevenson believes Urbana should encourage economic development to help with the city’s finances instead of raising property taxes.

“I think we need to put a cap and stop changing the levy just because the assessor says well your house is worth more now. And when people are living in the same house and there are people on fixed incomes, it is pretty hard to say ‘well you know what, your house is worth more.”

The city’s new rate will be equal to the rate the City of Champaign has indicated they will be levying.