Good News in the Local Economy

A new report from Naperville’s finance department shows sales tax and almost all revenue sources for the city are on the rise.

Only four months into the new fiscal year, a recently released financial update has almost all of Naperville’s income sources increasing.

“The whole economic outlook has been good, people are buying, income tax is on the rise too… from groceries to auto, everything is going up,” said Chris Smith, assistant financial director for the city of Naperville.

From May through August of this year, revenues like sales and income tax, permit fees, and real estate transfer tax together increased 40% since the same time last year.

“Really the whole outlook is pretty good,” Smith added.

Local businesses are experiencing a boost in sales, close to what they saw back in 2007 before the economic downturn.

Some stores like Naperville Running Company are even seeing sales numbers above the 5-8% increase most retailers are reporting.

“We’ve had 12 consecutive all time record months with sales and I don’t see why that can’t continue. That’s a streak we haven’t seen since our earlier days of business,” said Owner of Naperville Running Company, Kris Hartner.

While figures aren’t at the same levels as prior to the recession, many are optimistic for the future.
“People are more comfortable with spending a little extra and taking care of themselves…For downtown, we’re as busy as ever; parking’s full,” Hartner enthused.

Naperville’s housing market is also seeing signs of improvement, with home sales up 40% over the same time last year.

980 homes were sold in four months, from May to August this year.

“It’s going to take quite a few years for it to get back to where it was prior to the bubble bursting, but things are on the upswing and it’s definitely time do to something and take advantage of low rates,” said Paul Leganski, Managing Broker of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Naperville.

Leganski believes the increase in activity is due, at least in part, to a renewed faith in the real estate market and low interest rates.

While unemployment figures are still bleak, the increase in sales tax revenue and home sales mean that the city’s budget should be balanced next year.

The latest report will be presented to city council at the financial update workshop.

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