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Rockford Scanner » Note from the Mayor: Property values are up 52 %, Property tax rate is down 37 %, Violent crime is down 34 %

Note from the Mayor: Property values are up 52 %, Property tax rate is down 37 %, Violent crime is down 34 %

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Note from the Mayor

When Rockford is strong, our region is strong. From underwater mortgage capital of the world a decade ago to today’s top real-estate market in the country, according to WSJ/ Housing Market Ranking.

We have made tremendous strides in Rockford over the last seven years. Property values are up 52 percent, property tax rate is down 37 percent, and – despite recent incidents – violent crime is down 34 percent. Rockford is soaring!

We are making equitable investments in our infrastructure with the recent approval of the City’s largest Infrastructure plan in our history. Over the next two years, roads like Auburn Street, 11th Street, Whitman Interchange and Alpine Road will be addressed. We are investing heavily in our neighborhood streets and sidewalks. We’re also creating a more bicycle and pedestrian friendly community.


With a holistic plan and investment to address crime, we are holding criminals accountable while at the same time investing millions in intervention and prevention strategies to get at the root cause of crime. We are investing in our young people so that they have hope and opportunity.


We have reduced the financial barriers to higher education through our Rockford Promise Northern Illinois University partnership. Since we started the partnership, we have seen an increase in GPAs of our high school students at RPS 205. Nearly 300 of our kids are currently attending NIU for free.


We are also creating pathways into the workforce, including the construction trades with our concrete workforce development program and vertical trades training. Rockford is also opening the State of Illinois’ first Excel Center with Goodwill of Northern Illinois to help residents who want to earn a high school diploma, rather than a GED.


We are investing in all of our neighborhoods, and we are reducing blight through our Community Development Financial Institution, the new Land Bank and a revised trustee program. In addition, we’re partnering with Habitat for Humanity for a Critical Home Repair program. We have enhanced our residential rehabilitation programs and launched a new program to help even more homeowners with home improvements. Our new Tax Rebate Program is off to a good start. Not only does it rebate taxes for three years for new home construction, but the City is also waiving all new construction building permit fees and water connection fees.


Our arts and culture are at the forefront of many of our efforts with great partnerships, including the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Rockford Area Arts Council. We have seen more than 50 murals, dozens of sculptures and wrapped utility boxes in every ward of our community. We are also developing a new Destination Master Plan to increase tourism, as well as creating our first ever Cultural Plan!


Our parks and outdoor amenities are growing thanks, in part, to Rockford Park District, West Rock Wake Park, Anderson Japanese Gardens and Klehm Arboretum, as well as the reinvestment in Clarence Hicks Memorial Sports Park and the coming transformation of Davis Park.


All of these efforts are leading to economic growth. We’ve seen incredible investments from PCI, Collins Aerospace, Hard Rock Casino, the Chicago Blackhawks, Monarch Energy and Stellantis – to name just a few!


We are on the right track because we are working together. I look forward to seeing how much more we can accomplish in the years to come!



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