Rockford City Council Passes Mayor's Budget

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The Rockford City Council passed the mayor's budget proposal, hoping it will solve the city's $7.5 million budget shortfall.

Several aldermen voiced their frustration on the difficult decision they made tonight, not one, but three taxes will be raised. Many council members say they had no real alternative.

If taxes did not increase, many Rockford City Council members say the quality of life in Rockford would decrease.

"If we would not have passed these taxes tonight, we would be looking at a different city. We'd be looking at a decrease in our population," said Alderman Linda McNeely.

Alderman Jeff Holt asks Rockford residents to, "imagine a community with two fewer fire stations, 15 minute response times for medical emergencies, and a city that doesn't have police to respond."

Cutting police and fire services would be the only other alternative to raising taxes according to some council members. But Alderman Franklin Beach, who voted against the tax hike, says his vote was certainly not a vote against police and fire.

"There's other fees and ways to bring revenue into the city that could've decreased the amount of taxes this council is being asked to give," said Alderman Beach.

But for now, Rockford residents will pay five percent more in water taxes, a five percent more in telephone taxes, and $24 more in garbage fees.