City Council places next year’s tax levy on file for public inspection


Kyara Morales-Rodriguez

Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs reads over an agenda item during the City Council meeting Tuesday evening at City Hall.

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez, Campus Reporter

The Charleston City Council placed an ordinance on file for public inspection, one regarding the Annual Tax Levy Ordinance for the fiscal year from May 2023 to April 2024, on Tuesday evening.  

Charleston Mayor Brandon Combs said that this year’s proposed tax levy totals to $5,239,890.  

“The tax rate will be decided this spring after the county finishes calculating its EAB, but we expect our tax rate to be less than last year,” Combs said. “Tax hearing is not required since it is going to be less than a 5 percent increase.” 

The council also unanimously approved the lease agreement with the East Central Illinois Antique Tractor Club, authorizing the club’s use of the “Walden Property,” the city’s farmland located on West Madison Ave. 

A portion of the property will be used for farming, as well as for showing and demonstrating antique tractors and equipment at events.  

Combs said that the club would like to lease the property under the same terms as the previous five-year lease agreement. This new lease agreement will end on Dec. 31, 2027.  

Combs said that the city has paid one-third market value for the harvest and crops on this acreage. The city also has the option to bale straw from this area after a wheat crop has been harvested.   

Combs said that this agreement could “allow the city to make some revenue from the farmland. It brings in tourism and promotes the use of the Coles County Fairgrounds.”  

The council also approved the resolution implementing the provisions of the Illinois Pension Code Act (40 ILCS 5/3-143), with three yeses and one abstain. Council member Matthew Hutti abstained because his father is on the Pension Board.  

“The police and fire pension boards are required to provide a report to the city of Charleston every year to show the assets and other financial position information before voting on the property tax levy,” Combs said. “This resolution certifies that we have received their reports for the year ending April 30, 2022.”  

The council also went over some ordinances, unanimously approving the amending of Ordinance Title 1, Chapter 11, Section 2: Official Depositories. 

In this ordinance, financial institutions used by the city of Charleston are listed for safekeeping and investment purposes.  

According to the ordinance, changes are made to the list from time to time “to accurately reflect current practice with such changes to be codified subsequently in the City Code of Ordinances.” 

“It’s been thirteen years since this list has been updated, and we are not only updating it, but we’re also removing institutions that are no longer around or in use,” Combs said. “The purpose of this ordinance is to update the list of financial institutions. The city list will now include all of the banks located in Charleston.”  

The council also unanimously approved ordinance petitions for amending Charleston’s official zoning map. 

Martin & Bayley, Inc. requested zoning map amendments at 1421 10th St. and 1430 11th St. from single family residential districts to general commercial districts.  

Combs said this is “to allow this property to be redeveloped for commercial use.” 

The council also unanimously approved raffle licenses for three organizations. The organizations are as follow:  

  • Women of the Moose #1175 for its weekly Thursday raffle from Jan. 1, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2023. The purpose of this raffle is to support the home for children at Mooseheart, the home for seniors at Moosehaven and various community organizations such as St. Jude’s, Cancer Society and Camp New Hope.  
  • The Knights of Columbus #4024 for its weekly Friday raffle starting on Jan. 6, 2023. This raffle is being held for the operations of the organization.  
  • Midwest Select Softball for its weekly Friday raffle from Jan. 1, 2023 to Dec. 31, 2023. The purpose of this raffle is to raise money for tournaments.  


Kyara Morales-Rodriguez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].