A report delivered Tuesday, Sept. 30, to the Kane County Committee of the Whole indicates that Kane County is likely to hold the line on its property tax levy for the fourth straight year.
Presented by Finance Department Executive Director Joe Onzick, the Kane County Proposed 2015 Operating Budget highlights the overall budget numbers, philosophy involved in the budget process and timeline for budget approval.
The No. 1 “guiding principle” for the budget review was “no property tax increase” for the county’s portion of residents’ property tax bills, the report says.
“For 22 years, I’ve been listening to people legitimately complain about being property taxed out of their homes,” Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said. “Now, thanks to the collective effort of 1,250 county employees led by elected officials and department directors, we have demonstrated that we can hold the line.
“I would prefer it if we could reduce county taxes,” he said, “but the first thing we need to do is stop digging the hole deeper.”
As the chart below indicates, Kane County’s total operating budget will drop about 1.2 percent — from $261,070,683 in the 2014 amended budget to $258,010,940 in the 2014 draft budget.
Of that, the General Fund budget will go up by $2,274,323, or 2.8 percent, but the Special Revenue Fund budget will drop by $5,334,066, or 3 percent.
The draft budget estimates revenue conservatively, and instead aims to draw additional revenue from increases in user fees. It provides for a 2 percent salary increase, at managers’ discretion, for non-union employees and sticks to budgeted collective bargaining agreements for union employees.
The report anticipates that the budget will be ready for public display on Oct. 10 and adopted as soon as Nov. 10.
Guiding Principles for Revenue
- No property tax increase: Maintain total county property tax levy at same level.
- Assume recommended user-fee increases will be approved for offices of county clerk, recorder and
sheriff, thereby increasing user-fee revenue to more-adequately recover cost of services they provide.
- Maximize return on investment without risking principal.
- Estimate revenue conservatively.
Overall Salary & Wage Budget
- New headcount limited to personnel required to maintain level of services and comply with mandated staffing levels.
- No pay increase for elected officials.
- No budgeted wage increases for union employees for which there is no collective bargaining agreement in place.
- Wage increases budgeted for union employees according to collective bargaining agreements.
- Increase salary and wage budget for non-union employees by 2 percent, allowing manager discretion in how it will be allocated.
- Second half of market parity increase included for judiciary and court services totaling $88,723.
Timeline From Here
- Sept. 30 – Final budget presented to Committee of the Whole.
- Oct. 14 – Budget approved for public display.
- Oct. 23 – Budget placed on public display.
- Nov. 10 – Budget adopted and tax levies approved.