Mount Prospect trustees this week passed a 2014 budget that focuses heavily on capital improvements while keeping the general operating budget balanced.
The village will be collecting $17.3 million in property taxes next year, an increase of 5 percent, or more than $823,000. For the owner of a home with an equalized assessed value of $98,000, that represents an increase of $48.
Property taxes still are a relatively small part of the more than $108 million in revenues the budget projects, which includes additional monies collected from sewer and water rates increases and a planned $6.5 million bond issue to fund street repairs.
Finance Director David Erb said the operating budget -- which funds basic village services such as police and fire protection -- increased only 1.3 percent, a fact he believes shows restraint on the part of village departments.
The village's capital budget -- which funds infrastructure maintenance and improvements -- is rising 77.4 percent to $32.4 million. That includes $10 million in flood-mitigation work and $6.5 million in added street work.
Trustee Paul Hoefert said this year's budget could be characterized as a "decision-point budget."
"Meaning that there are certain things that we need to do now -- we need to act now -- or we can wait and risk it," he said. "If we don't deal with the roads, it will continue to deteriorate to the point where they are going to need to be rebuilt or resurfaced," doubling the cost.
In addition to the 5-percent property tax increase, the motor fuel tax goes from 2 cents to 4 cents per gallon to help pay for street maintenance, while the refuse collection rate will increase $3.76 per month and the water rate will increase 9.5 percent.
Trustee John Matuszak was pleased with the 1.3 percent increase in the operating budget, saying, "It's well within inflation." The capital spending, he added, is money well spent on sewers, streets and infrastructure the village is providing to residents.