In 2010, the village of Mount Prospect imposed across the board cuts to help avoid a deficit and balance its budget. Fast forward to Tuesday, when the village board passed a 2013 budget that Finance Director David Erb said contained the first increase in the operating budget since 2010.
In addition to passing the budget, the village approved a $16.4 million property tax levy, an increase of 3.95 percent. The budget also includes a water rate increase of 9.5 percent that was approved earlier that is a direct result of higher charges for Lake Michigan water provided by the City of Chicago.
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Erb said that the estimated tax bill for the village would be $953 for a home with an assessed value of $103,000 and a market value of $350,000. This is a $36 increase.
The general fund budget of $44.3 million includes a reserve of 23 percent, 2 percent below target. The general fund covers such items as police and fire, community development and public works. It is part of an overall operating budget that also includes water and sewer, refuse collection and parking. That budget will go up 5 percent, to $60.1 million -- the first increase since 2010. The village is reinstating some of what was cut in 2010, including assigning an existing officer to the police department's crime prevention unit, which had been disbanded in the cuts.
The budget projects total revenues from all sources of $94.7 million, an increase of 2.9 percent, and expenses of $93.1 million, an increase of 2 percent.
Trustee remarks focused on how the village has been careful with its expenses while being continually vigilant.
Trustee Paul Hoefert said, "Unlike the federal government, which sees their fiscal issues as a lack of revenue problem, in Mount Prospect (we generally see) our fiscal issues as an expense control issue. We make difficult decisions and manage our finances certainly within our means."