The Monticello city council on Nov. 9 approved a tentative tax levy of $762,774 for 2020, payable with 2021 property taxes. If given final approval next month, it would be a 4.9 percent increase over last year’s levy of $727,144.

“It is intended that the FY (fiscal year) 2021 tax levy ordinance will be placed on the Nov. 23 city council agenda for a first reading, and a motion to move the ordinance to the second reading on Dec. 14” for final approval, said City Administrator Terry Summers.

Online meeting attendee Steve Shreffler opposed the increase, noting it is well above the current consumer price index of 1 percent for 2020.

“I would sure like the City of Monticello Administration to let the public know why it is that we’re going to do another 4.9 percent increase,” said Shreffler. “At that rate our property tax will double every 20 years.”

He suggested the city instead tie its levy to the CPI.

Hard times for businesses

Council member Wendall Brock expressed appreciation of the downtown parklets that helped accommodate outdoor seating until last week, but was concerned for the vitality of businesses this winter amid COVID-19 mitigations.

“I’m sorry to see what’s happening around the state. I hope that our locals can survive. I wish them all the best,” said Brock in his alderman report.

Mayor’s report

In his report, Mayor Larry Stoner pointed out that 40 businesses are hiring in Piatt County, according to a job board that can be found on the city website, www.cityofmonticello.org.

The major also thanked veterans for their service, and noted that niche.com ranked Monticello as the ninth best community in Illinois to buy a home.

In other action, the council:

–approved a list of 12 employee holidays for 2021;

–heard from City Administrator Terry Summers that the city’s lawsuit against Kurt Valentine, which dates back to October of 2011, could receive a ruling in Piatt County Court on Nov. 25.

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