Click to add image

Defending Urbana Taxpayers

Carle Hospital sued Urbana in 2011 and stopped paying taxes in 2013, shifting its share to the rest of us. Mayor Prussing fought back. The 4th District Appellate Court, agreeing with Urbana, found unconstitutional a 2012 law allowing hospitals property tax exemptions. The Illinois Supreme Court will rule in 2017. A Johns-Hopkins study found “not-for profit” Carle the 10th most profitable hospital in the U.S.. Profits: $165 million; total property tax bill: $6 million.

Urbana cut the violent crime rate in half 2004-2015 by hiring more police and enacting effective new ordinances. In 2016 Urbana faced a new threat of gang-related shootings. Mayor Prussing proposed hiring 5 new police officers to address this sudden spike in crime.

Mayor Prussing’s leadership was crucial in saving the Police Training Institute (PTI) at the University of Illinois. She is working state-wide to provide sustainable funding for 911 systems. In 2005 Prussing initiated creation of Urbana’s Civilian Police Review Board, first in downstate Illinois.

Economic Development

115 businesses opened or expanded since 2013. The new “Think Urbana” enterprise zone is spurring home building.
The City is working with a prospective new owner on a $25 million restoration of the former Urbana Lincoln Hotel. Mayor-Council goal: Reduce Urbana’s combined property tax rate to equal Champaign’s. Winning the Illinois Supreme Court hospital case would be a huge help.

Cuttng Costs Without Cuttng Employee Benefits

Urbana paid Carle’s Health Alliance $3 million in 2013 for health insurance. Health Alliance asked for a 10% increase for 2014. Mayor Prussing refused. She asked our insurance agent and an employee committee to work for a better deal. Results: 2014-no increase; 2015-3% cut; 2016-no increase; 2017-11.5% cut (by switching to Blue Cross). (Four-year savings: $3 million).

Excellent Financial Management

Unlike most cities, Urbana did not lay off police and fire fighters during the recession. The City cut spending, increased revenue from the hotel-motel tax and other small taxes, but held the line on property taxes. Urbana reduced the city’s share of total property taxes.

Helping People While the state and other cities have slashed fundingfor social services, Mayor Prussing and the Urbana City Council have kept Urbana’s commitment to help the least fortunate. The City and Township provide more than $300,000 annually to local human service agencies to help children, senior citizens, people with physical and mental disabilities, victims of violence and homeless individuals and families. Mayor Prussing works in a national coalition to promote mental health funding for cities.

Environmental Sustainability

Mayor Prussing initiated our Sustainability Advisory Commission and hired Urbana’s first Sustainability
Coordinator. Statewide Awards- Sierra Club "Cool Cities"; American Planning Association “Sustainability Award”; IL Water EnvironmentAssociation “Public Official of the Year”; National-Water Environment Federation “Public Official of the Year”. Urbana continues to work with other cities to oppose a toxic landfill over the Mahomet Aquifer.