City of Peoria residents may soon see an additional $50 or $300 fee for what city council members are calling a parcel fee.
While this parcel fee isn’t being called a tax on your property, the funds collected will pay for pensions for police and fire retirees.
For weeks, city council and the city administration have been proposing numerous ways to reduce Peoria’s budget deficit, but Peorian Joseph Lipovsky believes the city isn’t looking at enough options to make a positive change.
“I am not seeing the city put forth a statesman-like solution to the issue facing the town and this point,” said Joseph Lipovsky.
He says things need to be different.
“We need an approach that encompasses everyone and is not based on tif’s or other programs that may create minimal solutions in places but won’t address the overall problem,” said Lipovsky. “The overall problem is the town is spending more money than it’s bringing in and there needs to be a correction of that.”
Essentially what this parcel fee means, property owners who have a building on their land will be charged $50 for 2019 if their property is less than 5,000 square feet or .11 acres.
City Manager Patrick Urich says they estimate most lots in the City of Peoria will pay the $50.
Now, for commercial or industrial properties, they will pay the a $300 fee.
Urich says the annual fee will increase each year for the next five years.
“The lower fee will increase by $5 a year from 2019-2023,” said Patrick Urich, Peoria City Manager. “So in 2023, that fee would be $70 per parcel. And then the larger footprint would go up by $50.”
Urich says the money from the fees will go toward public safety pensions.
The cost of those pensions is projected to grow by $80 million over the next 10 years.
“We’re trying to get ahead of that,” said Urich. “We’re trying to make sure that we’re being responsible. Unfortunately that has to come from the taxpayer and we all have to pay for that cost that’s the way the general assembly has set this up.”
Lipovsky says he’s still concerned about the stability of the city if nothing changes.
“I believe that if your infrastructure, like the police and fire, they’re going to take away the desire for people to want to move here,” said Lipovsky. “We need to maintain those, but we don’t need give gifts to other people coming to town. We have a lot here, we just need to work with what we have.”
City leaders are looking at other ways to reduce costs and increase revenue and they’ve given that responsibility to the city manager.
The council did approve the proposal to slice positions from Peoria Police and fire departments.