A decline in state population was on Governor Bruce Rauner’s mind at his 2018 budget address.
“Make no mistake, we are in a competition, and the states around us are winning at our expense. They have out-legislated us, and now, they are outgrowing us,” Rauner said.
Rauner says Illinois is losing people in search of lower taxes to surrounding states.
So we checked in on the population of Naperville where the story is quite different.
“We continue to have new homes that are built in new areas of the city. Even areas that we never thought would be built. Say for instance the Country Lakes Golf Course when that was converted over to 300 homes,” said Bill Novak, director of transportation, engineering and development for the city.
That’s why the City of Naperville has decided to hold a special census this year – earlier than the regular census to be held in 2020.
“That’s great for the city when we realize we can get additional state taxes from the state for each person that lives in the city,” Novak said.
Officials believe that since the last census, the population has grown by 4,000 to 5,000 people.
Over the next year and a half, that would bring an additional $1.67 million from the state in income tax, use tax and motor fuel tax, which are distributed based on population.
“The greater our population, the more we get, which helps drive down our property tax rate,” Novak explained.
Areas being counted are mainly in the northwest and southwest sides of the city, where there’s new housing.
Naperville’s special census begins February 23.
Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.
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