At the city’s final budget workshop, staff and the council reviewed the final city department budgets and explored options to keep the property tax levy flat.
Originally, the Finance Department predicted a slight increase in the tax levy estimate. However, council requested that they find ways to keep the levy flat.
“I think the budget that staff has presented, we really feel is a very lean budget in that it really is to provide necessary services and not above and beyond what would ultimately be required to provide the services to this community,” said Rachel Mayer, Finance Director with the City of Naperville.
But keeping the levy flat wasn’t easy to come by for some council members. Doing so meant agreeing to use certain funds differently, like using Naperville’s food and beverage tax receipts to pay off rising pension obligations.
“This is just a way to define money and it takes away from the discipline of our spending, so that’s why I can’t support this at this time, it’s why I didn’t want to go down this road, because it’s not right, that’s not what these dollars were for, to bail out the general fund and our spending habits,” said Councilman Paul Hinterlong.
However, council did vote ‘yes’ to the change as a one-time deal, in addition to deferring other funds and capital projects. Doing so will spell out a slight reduction in the tax rate from $855.01 paid per household to $850.89 for a $410,000 home.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to reduce debt, actually lower our property taxes, we’ve replenished some of our cash and that’s really good work,” said Mayor of Naperville, Steve Chirico.
The budget recommendations will be presented for approval before the council at their December 5 meeting and the property tax levies will be voted on on December 20.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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