news at ten. jim:rock island is taking a hard and close look at its finances with serious decisions to make. tiffany:the city presented the first draft of the 20-18 budget to city council tonight. and it's looking to cut spending and raise revenue. the city is facing some revenue shortfalls because of changes to the state budget. five vacant positions are being cut -- that includes... two police officers, two public works employees and one position in the i-t department. but the city is also hoping to generate money with fees and taxes.it's tonight's top story. local 4's grace runkel joins us in the newsroom with... reaction to a proposed property tax increase.... grace? gracejim, tiffany ... the city is calling for a 9 percent propery tax rate increase. this increase would only apply to about a quarter of the bill. for homes valued at 100- thousand dollars this amounts to less than a 5-dollar increase. but one alderman says his ward still isn't happy about it.
"since it was announced that rock island was considering a property tax increase second ward alderman virgil mayberry has been dealing with unhappy constituents.
"everyone that i've talked to objects to it. it's just not acceptable to them. but you know we've got to keep the city running." but while he says was overwhelmed with opinions from his voters ... only one member of the public commented on the issue at tonight's meeting.
"another nail in the coffin. it's making rock island look like it has very high taxes. and that will hurt our real estate values."muller says that even though i?t is a small increase i?t could still put off people from moving to the area.
"it's just not a good thing to do for the city." sixth ward alderman joshua schipp says tax increases shouldn't have such a negative connotation. he says if rock island wants to remain competitive i?t has to generate money somehow.
"this anxiety or negative energy about what has to be done to keep this city's doors open and i don't necessarily think that's the most productive thing." the final budget won't be approved for almost a month but mayberry says he'll be looking to his constituents to decide how to vote.
"any time you mention taxes to someone they're not happy. it's a bad word. it's a four lett word and it's bad.
" gracethe council will examine the budget several more times before they approve it on december 18th. departmental budget reviews begin next monday. in the newsroom grace runkel