DuPage County surveys residents on proposed budget
DuPage County residents are getting the opportunity to tell officials how they want their tax dollars spent.
The county is conducting an online survey to solicit feedback from the public on budget-related issues before drafting a proposed spending plan for next year.
"We spend a fair amount of money from the taxpayers in order to complete the mission of the county," said Robert Larsen, a county board member who serves as chairman of the finance committee. "We think it's important that the taxpayers have a say in how that money is spent."
County board members have until Nov. 30 to approve a spending plan for the 2020 fiscal year, which begins Dec. 1.
Board Chairman Dan Cronin is scheduled to present his proposed spending plan to the full board Sept. 24. In the meantime, department heads and countywide elected officials are talking to board members about what they would like to see in the next budget.
Cronin will consider information from the budget discussions and the survey results when drafting a proposed spending plan.
"It's a very difficult budget year, as it has been for the last several years," Larsen said. "Choices have to be made as to budgetary priorities. So we ask our taxpayers to provide some guidance to us."
The survey can be taken until Aug. 30 at surveymonkey.com/r/dupage2020 or from the county's homepage at dupageco.org.
Roughly 3,300 people responded to a budget survey last year. So far, the county has received more than 4,000 responses to this year's survey.
Survey respondents are asked to list the services and environmental initiatives important to them. In addition to budget-related questions, the survey seeks to gauge whether residents have a favorable view of county government.
One question asks if respondents support the county's efforts to reduce the number of units of government in DuPage County.
Survey respondents also are asked if DuPage should continue to award $1 million a year in grant money to support nonprofit organizations. In addition, the survey asks if the county should continue to provide financial support to the DuPage Care Center, which is a nursing facility in Wheaton.
Another survey question mentions proposed state legislation that, if approved, would allow DuPage to implement a countywide hotel/motel tax to support economic development. Survey respondents are asked if they would be in favor of implementing such a tax.