People petition village tax increase

Local News

BISMARCK, Ill. (WCIA) — Leaders in Bismarck are looking for more money to fix a village drainage issue.

But some people in town are not happy with the proposed tax increase to cover the cost. Over a year ago, Bismarck began researching ways to fix the issue. They decided on a system that would cost almost $3 million.

Residents will have either a monthly $35 utility fee or a two percent increase to their tax multiplier. The current plan has every property in the village chipping in.

They are only in the beginning stages of fixing their surface water problem. Big storms have often caused flooding and headaches for people in town. Mayor Mike Brown says a solution is desperately needed.

“The board of trustees and myself, we’re here for the safety and health and do our best to do what we can with the infrastructure with the money that we have,” says Brown. “We thought that was fair. But a lot of people don’t. Especially if they own multiple homes. Then it’s going to be an issue.”

Some people have taken notice. Lee High and Ken Phillips both live in Bismarck and have started a petition to stop the tax multiplier increase. But they estimate only around 10 percent of people know about any of the changes. They still want a solution, just one they think is more fair.

“There’s some people who will have less than a twenty dollar increase to their real estate tax for that year,” says High. “There’s some people that’s gonna be around a thousand dollars or more of an increase on their real estate taxes.”

They still have a chance to make their voices heard. Even negative, Brown says community response will help them come up with the best solution.

“It’s nothing personal,” says Brown. “I mean I’m just trying to help. I love this community. We gotta take care of it. If we don’t take care of it, it’s just going to continue to deteriorate.”

The petition just started Monday. They have until January 1 to get around 120 signatures.

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