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updated: 12/7/2012 6:01 PM

Gurnee receives upbeat 6-month financial news

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  • Kristina Kovarik

    Kristina Kovarik


While sales tax in the first six months of Gurnee's budget year has produced revenue as expected, holiday shoppers will determine if the momentum continues, village officials say.

Finance Director Diane Lembesis provided an upbeat report to the village board this week regarding Gurnee's finances from May 1 through Oct. 31. Gurnee's fiscal year runs through April 30.

Gurnee has a $59 million spending plan and projects $51 million in revenue. Officials said the $8 million deficit is attributable to a village reimbursement to Gurnee Mills' parent company, Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, for preparation work on a new Macy's store expected to open in 2013.

Sales tax is Gurnee's biggest revenue source. Lembesis said the village so far has collected 49 percent of an anticipated $16 million in sales tax and that such revenue typically maximizes during the holiday season.

Mayor Kristina Kovarik expressed optimism that Gurnee's sales tax revenue will continue a positive trend.

"Obviously, the holidays are crucial to us for the year," Kovarik said as she and the village board digested Lembesis' financial report.

Lembesis said Gurnee already has received 51 percent of projected revenue through the first six months. She noted in her report Six Flags Great America has been generating money for the village as expected.

Gurnee levies a 3 percent amusement tax on Great America tickets, which accounts for most of the income in that category. Through six months, Gurnee has raked in $1.6 million from Great America tickets, just short of the $1.8 million forecast through April 30, 2013.

"The news for the first half of the fiscal year is very good," Lembesis said.

On the expense side, Lembesis said, Gurnee didn't top 50 percent of budget through the first six months. Expenses have included $380,255 to the Gurnee Park District for aquatic center construction debt and $251,110 of $463,900 owed to KeyLime Cove Indoor Waterpark Resort for an incentive deal.

Village research shows Gurnee is one of five Illinois communities not levying a property tax.

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