Citizens are saying loud and clear that – we pay too much in property taxes, we need jobs, our streets are in bad shape, and something needs to be done about crime. Today I am focusing on property taxes and jobs. Currently, property taxes have been raised time after time. I have a different plan. I want to freeze total property tax revenue (the amount of property tax money the city gets from you ) keeping the amount the same as 2017 through 2019. The present city plan is unsustainable with budget growth exceeding revenue.
A significant portion of the budget is the state mandate on full funding of pensions. If the state comes through with their portion of the libraries money, I propose that any of those dollars that the library gives us back and pay into the police and fire pensions. I would then like to then evaluate if the levy (the percentage rate, currently 10.8%) could be frozen or reduced for the foreseeable future.
I have a plan to bring jobs here. I would like to see the staff’s number one policy goal to be business recruitment. DeKalb has much to offer: Business Incubator, Fiber Optic lines, High Tech Corridor, NIU, new High School, DeKalb Airport, New Library, Forest Preserves, parks, bike trails, proximity to Chicago, and the Enterprise Zone. Presently the staff’s main goal is only focusing on the downtown which includes the possible take over of the Egyptian and the development of the “STEAM” center. My plan is to bring jobs from counties that are running out of water (see citizensformisty.com for a complete explanation) to DeKalb. The Chicago Tribune reported on 2/10/17 “After decades of “pumping like crazy,” groundwater levels are so dangerously low that some wells [in Will County] will go dry in 15 years if current practices continue, said Walt Kelly, of the Illinois State Water Survey.”
I would like us to move away from TIF dollars to Enterprise Zone incentives that the state gives to construction. The Enterprise Zone does less damage to school funding and is the primary mechanism for development that many other college towns are using – now that we have it, let us use it.
Finally, I would like to create an incentive plan for the downtown businesses using the remaining TIF dollars to bring properties up to the latest codes and modern infrastructures.
Candidate for Mayor of DeKalb
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