The city of Rockford, Illinois taxed us a bit too much and now has a $31 million surplus. What do you think should be done with that huge sum of money?

According to a story on the Rockford Register Star's website, the city of Rockford has a $31 million budget surplus.

Let that sink in for a moment.

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Why Does Rockford Have a $31 Million Surplus?

When our city leaders budgeted for 2022 it appears that they dramatically over-estimated how bad things would get as we navigated through (and out of) a global pandemic.

The Rockford job market took a hit but not to the magnitude predicted. In fact, unemployment in Illinois dropped and wages went up (still not to a liveable wage in many cases).

Economists thought the situation would be disastrous and that triggered the city of Rockford to raise taxes on residents and businesses.

The city collected heaps more than expected in per capita income taxes and business taxes [...] (

What To Do with Rockford's $31 Million Surplus


Building a new fire station on State Street (NOT State Street Station as previously thought lol) in City Council's wishlist with that money. Also on the city's wishlist is reconstructing Auburn Street and the redevelopment of Davis Park.

Rockford City Council has 6 ideas on their wishlist (below), but none of them are WHAT ACTUAL ROCKFORD TAXPAYERS WANT.

What do you think Rockford should do with the extra $31 Million?

  • (Tanyai T) How about investing it in the schools? You know, the teachers and bus drivers who have old equipment while Rockford has a million-dollar library.
  • (David W) Helping all Rockford students including private whose families pay city taxes with college opportunities.
  • More funding for trauma recovery centers and programs, and more homeless shelters.
  • (Scott W) Gun buyback programs are pretty popular. For a few million bucks, you probably could get a lot of deadly weapons off the streets.
  • (Adam F) More cops, bigger jail
  • More street lights
  • (Cindy L)How about sending refund checks to all the taxpayers you got the surplus from?
  • (Jerry S) Buy some school buses and rent a dozen 747-passenger jets. Round up the gang members, drug dealers, and criminals, and send them on a 1-way trip to (insert country here).

(some of the above comments were pulled from the RRStar Facebook post below)

Click HERE to see specifically what Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara's administration would like to see happen with that money.

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