The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce hosted their September luncheon, where attendees got to hear about the State of DuPage County.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin took the podium, celebrating some of the achievements DuPage has made in the past year.
“In 2015, DuPage County attracted 105 new economic development projects to our county which brought 3,800 new jobs, leasing of more than 8 million sq. ft. and an investment of over $571 million in the DuPage economy,” said Chairman Cronin.
And with new businesses comes new jobs, an area DuPage is excelling in.
“We see strength in our employment sector. Last year I reported our DuPage unemployment rate was 5.1%, today unemployment has fallen to 4.5%, more than a full point lower than Cook County,” said Chairman Cronin.
The county’s financial outlook is also positive, with a balanced budget proposed for the 2017 fiscal year.
Chairman Cronin explains, “The 2017 budget is $433.8 million, which is $10.6 million less than last year. Our tax-levy stays flat at $66.9 million.”
This is the ninth year in a row that there will be no increase in the county portion of the property tax.
Chairman Cronin also addressed the recent reduction in DuPage’s bond rating by Fitch, one of the main bond rating agencies in the US.
“Fitch moved DuPage County to a AA+ from a AAA rating largely due to the fact that we here in DuPage County are not a home rule county and we very little power to unilaterally and summarily raise taxes, particularly property taxes, which by the way, I think is a good thing,” said Chairman Cronin.
DuPage maintains a AAA bond rating with the other main rating agencies and still ranks among the highest 2.5% of counties nationwide.
“We are a vibrant, attractive, diverse county with residents who speak more than 70 languages and who hail from all over the globe. We are an example of what happens when we focus on our priorities, creating a business friendly environment that grows jobs and helps safe neighborhoods thrive,” said Chairman Cronin.
Chairman Cronin also applauded DuPage’s continued consolidation efforts.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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