CALUMET CITY | Municipal officials offered themselves praise Thursday for approving a tax levy for the coming year that is slightly lower than last year’s levy.
By a 6-0 vote, with 4th Ward Alderman Brian Wilson absent, the City Council approved a tax levy that seeks to raise $27.33 million from local property taxes to fund city government.
The bulk of that — $22.28 million — would go toward the operating expenses of government, while the rest would cover the cost of debt service. Of the operating services levy, some $3.21 million will cover costs of the police pension fund.
Reductions in the debt service during the past year are the reason the overall levy will be 1.12 percent lower than last year's.
“There won’t be any tax increases for city residents,” Mayor Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush said, adding later, “I’m really happy that we’re not approving an increase. Perhaps this is our Christmas present to local residents.”
The levy applies only to the portion of property tax bills from Calumet City municipal government. Other units of government, including school boards, have their own tax levies to consider.
In other business, the council reviewed several letters addressed to city officials, including a letter from the Chicago Department of Water Management with a reminder of the increase in water rates that will take effect Jan. 1.
On that date, the cost of Lake Michigan water that Calumet City obtains from Chicago will be $2.88 per 1,000 gallons, a 37-cent increase. Calumet City buys water from Chicago to serve as a backup to the city's main supply through Hammond.
Earlier this year, Calumet City approved a 135 percent increase in the rate it pays Hammond, although that new rate of $2.20 per 1,000 gallons is cheaper than what Chicago will charge.
The City Council also approved an ordinance amendment providing that people caught driving on a suspended or revoked driver’s license will have their vehicle impounded.