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updated: 9/10/2013 12:51 PM

Survey: Roselle residents don't want higher taxes

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Raising property taxes to maintain Roselle's existing services is something most village residents would oppose, according to the results of a community survey.

In fact, more than half of the 671 survey respondents indicated they wouldn't want to pay higher taxes even if meant getting more services from the village.

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The recently released survey results will be considered by village officials when they go through the process of drafting next year's budget.

"We've been given direction that we need to figure out how to increase revenues outside of raising taxes," Mayor Gayle Smolinski said. "Now we have to look at some of our options."

The village conducted the survey earlier this year to determine "how much value residents place on the services the village provides," officials said.

Seventy-seven of the survey respondents said they're satisfied with the village's services. But nearly 75 percent of them indicated they wouldn't want to pay higher property taxes to maintain those services. About 59 percent responded that they wouldn't want to pay more taxes to increase services.

Fiscal sustainability was listed as one of the most important issues facing the village by 65 percent of the respondents. Because of a budget deficit, the village had to reduce its full-time workforce by 20 percent during the past several years.

Smolinski said it was "a little disappointing" to see one person suggest the village trim "fat" out of the budget. "We can't cut much more," she said.

When it comes to where Roselle should be allocating more resources, 68 percent of the survey respondents indicated the village should increase its efforts to attract new businesses. Sixty-three percent listed restaurants and retail as a high priority.

Smolinski said that makes sense considering more economic development would create a larger tax revenue base.

"It highlights how strong our residents would like to see more economic development," she said. "I knew that people were aware of it. I didn't realize how strongly they felt about it."

The village's existing efforts to lure more businesses could be enhanced if it were to hire a new staff member or an independent contractor, according to the mayor.

"We have to decide how we're going to do that," said Smolinski, stressing that money would have to be found in the budget.

Officials said the survey results will be the topic of two town hall meetings. The meetings are scheduled 7 p.m. Oct. 21 and 9 a.m. Nov. 2 at village hall, 31 S. Prospect St. in Roselle.

The community survey results are available for download from the village's website at roselle.il.us.

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