Naperville City Council took a first look at the city’s proposed budget for 2022. It includes $540.49 million to cover the cost of service to residents.
The proposal works under the assumption that there are five main priorities, including public safety, infrastructure and utilities, sustainability, beautification and financial stability and economy.
“It’s through these priorities that we’ll be able to match our community’s needs and serve it at an appropriate level now and adequately prepare to better serve it in the future,” City Manager Doug Krieger said.
The proposed budget works under the assumption that most city revenue is up despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, the city’s sales tax next year is estimated to bring in $41.8 million, an increase of 25%, or $8.5 million, when compared to the 2021 projection, according to council documents.
American Rescue Plan Act Funding
The proposal doesn’t take into account how the city would spend the funding it received this year from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act, officials said. The funds aren’t yet earmarked for expenditures. They are, however, helping to support the surpluses noted in the budget.
Employment issues were also noted during the budget workshop.
The city has noted hit 71 jobs turn over so far in 2021, with another five or 10 retirements still expected to occur before the year’s end, said Deputy City Manager Marcie Schatz.
“And while citywide that number might not be different than previous years, we’ve seen double digit turnover in both finance and [information technology] this year,” Schatz said. “This level of turnover can disrupt basic service delivery and impact project implementation.”
The city intends to address the issue by offering an annual 3% increase to the pool of added money offered as an incentive to non-union employees based on job performance.
Schatz acknowledged that the city has work to do to remain competitive to employees.
“Turnovers in some areas is easier to manage than others,” Schatz said. “When we have 10 or 15 people in the same job title and job classification completing the same work, we can manage the through turnover much more easily. However, because you enter an organization with only the necessary resources, a departure in one or two key roles in a department can create significant strain, especially for some of our smaller departments.”
New Jobs Proposed
At the same time, the city is positioning itself to fill several new positions under the proposed budget. Jobs are eyed for multiple departments, including those in the offices of the city manager, human resources and information technology. Councilwoman Jennifer Bruzan Taylor was among those expressing general caution to city officials about the extent to which the need exists and how current staff responsibilities and time are divvied.
Property Tax Levy
Also at the budget workshop, the city highlighted details about the proposed property tax levy.
The city would like to levy for $53.89 million after debt service abatements understanding that with an increase in new property growth, the tax rate will decrease from 0.6949 to 0.6727. That means the average taxpayer could save $27.77 on the city’s portion of their property tax bill.
The council is expected to hold two more workshops before putting the budget proposal to a vote. By state statute, the city is required to adopt its budget by Dec. 7.
Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.
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