Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?

Our elected officials and city staff are often asked how the City receives operating money and where the money is spent. Following is a brief explanation of the types of revenue that come into the City and how general operating funds are spent.

First, residents of Decatur pay personal property taxes each year with the City receiving 15.8% of the total property tax bill. As you can see from the illustration below, Decatur schools receive the highest percentage of property tax dollars (47.9%).

Next, how is the City’s portion of property taxes allocated within the City budget? In the 2024 budget year, the City should receive about $15,783,038 in property tax revenue according to the Macon County Tax Extension. The following chart shows where that revenue goes. Police and Fire pensions total 76.4% of the allocation.

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) is the pension for all employees not included in the Police or Fire pension plans. For 2024, the budget for General Fund IMRF is $1.185 million, and none of that expense is included in the current tax levy. The City receives no other revenue into the General Fund from property taxes. The general fund operates most of the City’s services.

So how does the City operate the General Fund? The City receives revenue into the General Fund from several sources. The chart below depicts the revenue sources and the percentage of the General Fund that each represents. Sales tax is expected to generate 31% of the income into the General Fund this year, which is why sales tax revenue is so important.

Finally, the General Fund expenses. The last chart shows the allocation by department within the General Fund. You can see what an impact the Police and Fire Departments have, with 67% of the total General Fund budget.