Voters to decide on new tax to pay for police pensions

By on December 9, 2011

by Sandy Kaczmarski
ELBURN—Voters in Elburn will be asked to approve a new property tax levy to pay for pensions for police officers. If approved, the new tax would be a separate line item on property tax bills.

Previously, police pensions were paid out through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), but when the village population went over 5,000 residents (5,502 to be exact) after the 2010 census, an Illinois law went into effect, requiring the pensions be paid under the downstate pension system and forcing the formation of a police commission.

“We have four rates—insurance, IMRF, we have audit and we have corporate,” Village President Dave Anderson said. “The specific rate for IMRF may be used for nothing other than IMRF. It must be used for that purpose.”

Anderson said asking for the tax levy was “a bit of protection for the taxpayers” since the additional tax would be listed as a separate police pension line item on tax bills.

While taxpayers can vote against the levy, it would not eliminate the need for the new tax.

“It’s up to the taxpayers to make the decision, but if they should so decide that this referendum does not pass, it does not eliminate the liability for the village of Elburn,” Anderson said. “Then that money comes out of the corporate fund.”

Anderson said the village has to do this, “there’s no argument about paying it.”

If passed on the March 20, 2012 election, Anderson said the soonest property owners in the village would see the new tax on tax bills would be May 1, 2013.

Village Administrator Erin Willrett said she would likely include information on the upcoming referendum in the February water bills sent to residents.