The proposed Clarendon Hills 2014-15 fiscal year budget is expected to increase municipal property taxes by $36 for a home valued at $500,000.
That’s the bottom line for property owners for the spending plan, which will be up for approval April 21 by the Village Board, said Peg Hartnett, the village’s finance director.
Hartnett said the village is in good financial shape and that a look ahead 10 years includes financial stability.
“We cut a lot of things a few years ago when the economy was so bad for everyone, and we’ve continued to be very careful with spending,” Hartnett said.
For the overall 2014-15 budget, expected expenditures of $14.3 million are up 13 percent from $12.6 million a year ago. Expected revenues of $13.3 million are an increase of 8 percent from $12.3 million in 2013-14.
The General Fund budget for 2014-15, which includes most of the operating expenditures, such as public safety, public works, snow removal, community development and administration, has $6.9 million in revenues, up just $51,000 from the previous year, and $7.6 million in expenses, up from about $7.1 million in 2013-14.
“That is an increase in revenue that is smaller than usual, but the (Consumer Price Index) was 1.7, so that kept things pretty low,” Hartnett said. “Costs continue to increase, and while we’re always looking for ways to save, some costs, like health insurance, are very difficult to control. It’s hard to know what you’re going to see with that.”
The tax cap limits increases to the CPI or 5 percent, whichever is lower.
The new budget includes an increase in the village’s fund balance to 50 percent of anticipated expenditures from the previous 40 percent guideline.
“We did an analysis on that and feel it’s a good idea to have it larger,” Hartnett said. “A lot of communities were caught short when times were so tough a few years ago.”
Hartnett said projections indicate that Clarendon Hills’ operating budget should be in good shape for the next 10 years.
The new budget also includes a $1.45 million transfer from the General Fund to the Capital Projects Fund. The board approved the same type of transfer a year ago for $1 million.
“We started holding back some of the amount we transfer each year into the Capital Projects Fund in 2009 because the economy was so bad,” Hartnett said. “With the economy more stabilized, we have felt confident with these last two budgets that we don’t have to hold that money back. It’s not an extra expense; it’s just money that’s put into a different fund.”
Of the expenditures in the 2014-15 budget, 36 percent is for wages and benefits, 22 percent for capital outlay, 21 percent for supplies and miscellaneous, 18 percent for contractual services and 3 percent for debt service.
Of the revenue in the proposed budget, 32 percent is from property taxes, 30 percent from charges for services, 15 percent from state-shared taxes, 10 percent miscellaneous, 6 percent other taxes, 4 percent licenses and permits, 2 percent grants and 1 percent fines.
Hartnett said the expected state-shared revenue always is a concern because of Illinois’ unhealthy financial status.
“We don’t have a lot of sources for revenue, and we rely on that money as a major source of revenue,” she said.