ROCKFORD (WREX) — Following the Rockford Park District’s decision to increase its tax levy on Monday, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara is speaking out. Saying taxing bodies, like the park district, can only do so much cutting before they need more of your money.

“Understand, our local governments haven’t seen any relief during these difficult times, ” says McNamara.

The park district’s levy will go up 2.3% in 2021.

That means tax payers in Rockford will pay $10 more for every $100,000 your home is worth. About 7.7% of a Rockford resident’s total tax bill is attributed to the Rockford Park District, according to the district.

Up to this point, the park district spent years making cuts and closures to close budget shortfalls. Closures like the leasing of Magic Waters and Elliot Golf Course.

Mayor McNamara says he’s not happy property taxes are going up, but says he understands why the board voted to do so.

“The federal government just prints money,” says McNamara.

“When they’re out of money, they just print. The state, when they’re out of money they just don’t balance budgets. We at the local level have to balance budgets. This is really where the buck stops so when all you see is bad decisions at the top and at the next level then it comes down to the local level.”

This is the first time in six years the park districted has raised its levy.

The board is slated to vote on its 2021 budget in February.


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