Pension woes squeezing East Peoria budget - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Pension woes squeezing East Peoria budget

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Budget woes are plaguing East Peoria. Without a plan in place, residents could be asked to make up the difference.

In July, the state finally got a budget in place after more than two years. It didn't come without placing a financial burden on local cities.

By state law, East Peoria must contribute 90 percent of the police and fire pension funds by 2040. Right now, the city pays 53 percent for police pensions and 48 percent for fire.

The new annual increases are leaving important tasks like road repair in despair.

Mayor Dave Mingus says it's time for a new strategy.

"We lost replacement tax and income tax in the state, so I think we need to as a city is face that there is more to come. We have to do everything we can in our self-initiatives to ensure the money is there in the future,” said Mingus.

The city administrator says the property tax percentage matches the one from the year 2000. So how can the city manage to take care of other projects if all their money is going to pensions?

By shopping brick and mortar, said the mayor. Mingus said the recently built Levee District is crucial for keeping the city afloat."

"It's an economic engine to really help us make up those losses. We derive sales tax, lots of sales, from the Levee District. If it weren't there we would be in a real problem right now," said Mingus.

He adds mom and pop shops make up 80 percent of businesses in East Peoria.

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