One of the most important duties of being a Councilmember is reviewing and approving our city’s budget. Every year, our city staff prepares a nearly 500 page budget for the public and City Council to review, and ultimately, the nine City Councilmembers are responsible for making any revisions to and passing the budget. I have taken this responsibility very seriously, and some of the highlights of the past four years of passing budgets, as well as what may lie ahead, include:
- No new taxes, fees or other sources of city-based revenue have been added over the past four years.
- The city’s tax rate has decreased from 2019 (.6870) to 2023 (.6743) due to a combination of responsible discretionary spending, increased property values, new development that have added to the tax rolls, and increased revenues from state sales taxes, local food and beverage taxes, etc.
- Our debt has been further decreased and our cash reserves have been increased over the past four years, all while dealing with the Covid-related financial uncertainty and recent inflationary pressure.
- While other governmental entities around the state and country struggle with pension debit, Naperville has been focused on and committed to managing our pensions as responsibly as possible. In 2023, the required annual contributions for fire and police pensions will actually decrease by 4.1%, which is the most notable decrease in required annual funding in nearly 20 years.
- City Council will have to decide how to best use our $13.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. While those funds could easily be spent on a variety of projects, I am happy that Council has so far taken a deliberate and conservative approach in waiting to decide how to use these funds.
- The City is going to incur tens of millions of dollars of expense related to necessary upgrades to our wastewater treatment plant, as well as nearly $20 million for a new police radio system over the next five years, and the best use of our ARPA funds may be to simply wait to see where we will need them the most in order to help pay for those very large and non-discretionary expenses so that we keep our tax levy and tax rate as low as possible in the coming years.