If an Illinois worker takes a pay cut during a recession, she knows the state isn’t going to take an even bigger chunk out of her paycheck. That’s because the state income tax rate stays the same. But if her home loses value, too, she could still see her property tax bill go up. Government...View Report
After passing an unbalanced budget in 2017, Decatur will have to address its declining population and revenue as it looks ahead to crafting future budgets.
Decatur is the fastest-shrinking city in the state since 2010, and saw some of the heaviest jobs losses among metro areas in 2017.
As its population and tax base erode, the city of Decatur passed a budget for fiscal year 2018 more than $3 million in the red.
Decatur lost 3,400 residents from 2010 to 2016, or about 4.5 percent of its population.
While major headlines broke over news that Chicago was the only one of America’s largest 20 cities to shrink from July 2015 to July 2016, most of Illinois’ other cities with 50,000 people or more also lost population.
With an average property tax bill of more than $2,000 a year, Decatur continues to hike taxes on a shrinking population.
Macon County is one of the 89 counties out of Illinois’ 102 that are losing residents.
Our recent comprehensive report, “The crisis hits home: Illinois’ local pension problem,” reviewed the fiscal health of Illinois’ 114 largest cities to measure the impact of pension costs on taxpayers, city services and the security of city-worker pensions. Decatur received one of the lowest scores as a result of out-of-control pension costs. Here’s why: Taxpayers...