City administrator explains hike in Geneseo property taxes

GENESEO, Illinois - When homeowners got their tax bill in the mail, they weren't expecting it to be so high.

"It was kind of a shock that it was gonna be that high, I mean I can see a little bit of a property tax jump but to make that big of a jump, all at once, was a little bit shocking," said Crystal, resident.

The city warned people their taxes would go up back in December, but in April, the city found out there would be a bigger increase to pay an unexpected debt.

A mistake was made when the city refinanced bonds from 2007 that pay for two wind turbines.

This year, the money to pay the $320,050 will come out of tax dollars instead of the utility budget.

"Because the electric utility wasn't intending to get those tax dollars, they have $320,000 essentially extra in their budget," said Lisa Kotter, City Administrator.

The city council will decide this fall to either put the money towards other city projects or return the money to homeowners.

"We're all human, there are times when mistakes are made and moving forward we all have to learn from them and do our best to make sure things don't happen a second time," said Kotter.

The increase in taxes means a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000 will owe about $100 extra this year.

Despite the mistake, people said they have faith the city will get the finances figured out.

"I believe the city council is understanding of the situation and they will do their best to solve it at everyone's best interest," said Rich Mcclimon, resident.

For more information on the 2016 tax levy you can view the power point of how it works HERE.