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Urbana Council Approves Hike in Tax Rate

Declining land values have forced Urbana aldermen to increase the property tax rate for 2012.

With little discussion, the city council last night unanimously raised that rate from a $1.29 per $100 of assessed valuation to $1.32.

But Mayor Laurel Prussing's Chief of Staff, Mike Monson, says the city is levying the same amount as last year, and the move will have virtually no impact on residents' tax bills.

"It's just the sign of the times with the economy, and the real estate bubble," Monson said. "We're still feeling the effects a couple of years later. The exact same thing happened in Champaign. Their rate went up a couple of pennies, and they decided to levy the same amount as last year."

Last week, Urbana City Comptroller Ron Eldridge said the 2011 tax levy marked the first time in his time with the city that he's seen the assessed value decrease. The actual amount went down nearly 2-percent. Eldridge also noted that Champaign's tax rate will still be be slightly above Urbana's (Champaign's rate is $1.3227, Urbana's is $1.3190.)

Without an increase in the tax rate, Urbana would have been dealing with a $200-thousand deficit in the current year's budget.

Categories: Economics, Government, Politics