Lincoln Park RTAB delays council-approved tax cut

By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – The Receivership Transition Advisor Board postponed a decision by the City Council to rescind a Promotional Tax Revenue millage put in place in 2013 until it can study the request.

The resolution, passed March 18, 2013, generated $50,000 a year to promote events like the summer concert series, which was reinstated last year, the city recreation program magazine and the city website. One of the final actions of the city’s state-appointed emergency manager was to require the city to continue to levy the millage, which would require a vote by the RTAB to reverse.

The motion by Council President Thomas Murphy, seconded by Councilman Christopher Dardzinski, was approved by the council, to be forwarded to the RTAB, with Mayor Thomas Karnes voting against the motion, and with Councilman Mario DiSanto absent.

City Manager Matthew Coppler said the tax is a little less than a mill, and the average homeowner would would see a $2.80 decrease in their city taxes annually.

He said that next week the council would meet and decide what can be cut from the general fund budget to absorb the cost of the millage elimination.

Coppler said Murphy said his rationale for rescinding the millage was to give back to the residents who supported the city through the recent turbulent financial times.

“I think that there will be some parts that we will have to cut back on, because the general fund was constructed based upon what our needs were,” Coppler said. “To transfer those costs in the general fund we are going to have to reduce the general fund funding in some way.

“We are working to put that together. I can’t tell you right now what that looks like, but by next week we will.”

Coppler said to calculate a homeowner’s potential tax savings, the property assessed value is divided by 1000, and multiplied by 0.09 to provide an annual tax dollar savings amount.

RTAB member Jessica Thomas moved to postpone a decision until more information was available, seconded by board member Genelle Allen. The third board member present, Kevin Bond, along with Thomas and Allen, voted in favor of postponement until the next RTAB meeting.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)