From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE – Madison County Chairman Alan J. Dunstan today announced that following the final tax rate calculations conducted by County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza, the county portion of the tax rate will drop by 3.5 percent for the 2016 property tax bills.
The rate reduction was approved by the county board 28-0 in November based on Dunstan’s recommendation in the 2016 budget to cut the property tax levy by approximately $800,000 over the previous year.
Dunstan said that while the tax cut will benefit taxpayers, it will not affect the services provided to Madison County residents. “The Madison County Board continues to demonstrate fiscal responsibility by keeping the county in a strong financial condition without jeopardizing services or compromising public safety and criminal justice programs.”
Based on the final rate calculations, the county’s 2016 tax levy is $7.7 million under the maximum allowed by law.
“The County Board prudently only levies the amount of taxes it needs to provide essential services to residents. By minimizing its reliance on property taxes, and not levying to the maximum tax rate, as some taxing districts do, county taxpayers will collectively save $7.7 million 2016,” Dunstan said.
Under Dunstan’s direction and the bi-partisan support of the County Board, Madison County is managed in a fiscally responsible way. Madison County has a balanced budget, is 100 percent debt free, maintains sufficient reserves and enjoys an outstanding bond rating. “The County Board plans ahead and, whenever possible, uses cash to pay for large capital projects, effectively saving taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments,” Dunstan said.
“Unlike the State of Illinois and the federal government, in Madison County we operate within our means,” Dunstan added. “In order to maintain the county’s strong fiscal position while continuing to provide our citizens with the services they deserve and expect, we have modernized county government through automation, and have streamlined programs and services.”
During his tenure as chairman, Dunstan said the county has been able to reduce its workforce by 25 percent. “We were able to do this through careful and deliberate cost reductions and increased efficiencies without jeopardizing public safety or cutting services.”
Dunstan said he will continue to operate Madison County government in a fiscally responsible way and continue to minimize its reliance on property taxes. “We have reduced property taxes, but in a responsible way. We will continue to prudently view county finances over the long term and maintain fiscal responsibility for our taxpayers.”
The County Clerk’s Office will publish the final 2016 property tax rates for all taxing districts on its website this week. They may be viewed at www.co.madison.il.us/departments/county_clerk/.