Revenue shortfall due to COVID-19 delays some capital projects, hiring in Itasca

Posted10/23/2020 5:30 AM

Itasca's revenue has dropped roughly $1 million between May and August because of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the village to delay some capital projects and hiring.

Last year in the same period the village was running a $675,000 budget surplus, Itasca's administrative service manager Jessica Spencer said.


Mayor Jeff Pruyn said the numbers were to be expected, but he is still concerned about the long-term impact.

"I think everything is going to be a struggle going forward," Pruyn said.

The biggest hits to the village's $22 million annual budget have been in hotel and sales tax revenue. Pruyn said the hospitality industry has suffered because of the lack of customers in the village's hotels.

The village received more than $1 million in hotel tax revenue in the fiscal year that ended April 30. Since then, the village has collected only $50,288 in hotel tax revenue.

Village administrator Carie Anne Ergo said the village has used $2.1 million in reserve funds.

Pruyn said the village has reduced the number of public works employees through attrition to respond to declining revenue. The village reduced its road resurfacing budget from $665,000 in the last fiscal year to $260,000 this year, delayed a $2 million storm sewer project, and outsourced snowplow services.

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Income from water and sewer bills has dropped as well, with 8% of bills unpaid, though the village is giving people a grace period for those affected by the pandemic.

Pruyn said the village is subject to a cap on property taxes. As a non-home rule community, the village is unable to raise taxes to make up for the shortfall in the revenue.

DuPage County's increased COVID positivity rates could further hurt Itasca's finances. A ban on indoor dining and bar service, among other tightened restrictions, begins today and will continue until cases decline.

With a vaccine for the virus not expected until next summer or fall, the next 12 months will be challenging for the village.

"I know it will take a while for the economy to get back going again, but we're hoping it does come back," Pruyn said.

Village officials will review new projections in November.

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