The Vandalia City Council will look to vote on their annual tax levy at their December 17 meeting after discussing the levy and making a recommendation on an amount during Monday night’s meeting. Council members were presented with several tax levy options including levy amounts of 4%, 10.87% and 26.84% with the police pension fund being the only area to see an increase and all other funds being levied at the same amount. Dale Timmerman of Timmerman and Associates was on hand to field questions from the council and informed them that underfunded police pensions is a problem being seen everywhere as the funds must legally be funded.
Last fiscal year, the city had to subsidize the police pension fund with $53,362 from its general fund after choosing to give city residents a break and not increase property taxes. Timmerman informed the board that by going with a 26.84% as deemed by numbers from the actuary, that would fully fund the police pension, while a 10.87% levy based on numbers from the Department of Insurance would provide the minimum to fund police pension while the 4% would have the city again kicking in the same subsidy as last fiscal year to help minimally fund the pension. Timmerman says just as the Department of Insurance had “kicked the can” down the road in with assuming a higher rate of return then what funds were getting which caused a larger difference when changing the rate of return. And Timmerman says eventually, the city also needs to decide how they will provide for the pension as they are legally obligated.
After discussion, council members voted 5-2 to recommend that Timmerman draft up a tax levy ordinance showing a 10.87% tax levy increase with council members Steve Barker and Joel Rebbe voting no. The tax levy ordinance will officially be voted on at the next council meeting on December 17.