County board sets preliminary levy at 9 percent
WTIP file photo

County board sets preliminary levy at 9 percent

The Cook County Board of Commissioners agreed to increase the amount it takes to make local government function, approving a 9 percent preliminary levy for next year.

During a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 12, the commissioners agreed to set the 2024 preliminary levy at a near double-digit increase. The levy can decrease after the preliminary figure is set, but it cannot exceed the 9 percent mark that was approved unanimously on a 4-0 vote by the commissioners. Commissioner Stacey Hawkins was not at the meeting.

The total budget for the county next year will be approximately $12.6 million.

In a detailed document prepared by County Administrator James Joerke for the commissioners ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, the recommendation was to set the levy at 9 percent. Joerke compiled the document based on budgets presented from various departments at the county and other expenses for local government in 2024.

Despite a levy increase, the county tax rate is expected to go down in 2024, according to Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers. The county tax rate is calculated by dividing the county levy by the total county wide property values. The tax rate will go down because property values have increased more than the proposed levy, Powers explained during yesterday’s board meeting.

In other news specific to the the 2024 budget, a Truth in Taxation meeting was set for Thursday, Nov. 30, in the commissioners’ room at the courthouse.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Joerke Sept. 13 about the 2024 county budget and the preliminary levy. Listen to the full interview in the audio below.