On March 20, voters will be asked to approve a new tax to fund the pensions of village of Elburn police officers. I am writing this in support of passing the referendum.
Currently, all full-time employees of the village, including members of the Police Department, receive retirement benefits from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). IMRF is funded, in part, by the village, but the employees also contribute from their own salaries.
Illinois state law requires villages to establish a separate pension fund for the police department once the population exceeds 5,000. From the recently released 2010 census results, we learned that the population of Elburn has exceeded 5,000 residents. Now, the village of Elburn must establish a new police pension fund. Funding of the new police pension will continue to come from the salaries of the police officers, as well as from the village of Elburn.
To meet this new financial obligation, the village has two options: (i) divert funds from existing programs, or (ii) request a new tax levy. Diverting funds from existing programs could lower the quality of services we need to maintain a strong village. Levying a new tax provides the village with the financial resources required to maintain the level of public services we need, while meeting the new pension obligation now required by state law.
Not to be lost in the shuffle is the fact that when the new police pension fund is created, the police officers will no longer be part of IMRF, so the IMRF portion of the tax bill will go down.
On March 20, please join me in support our village in its effort to balance the budget, and vote “yes” for the new police pension fund tax levy.
David M. Broz