Revenues, expenses both rising in new Deer Park budget
Deer Park's newly approved budget for the 2022 fiscal year reflects a big revenue boost brought on by a sales tax hike and other factors, officials said.
Spending will increase as well -- but not as significantly.
The village board approved the annual budget Thursday night. The fiscal year began May 1.
The plan calls for nearly $4.5 million in revenue from taxes, fees and other sources. That's up from the 2021 fiscal year's estimate of nearly $3.1 million, a roughly 45% jump.
Revenue is increasing so dramatically because voters in April approved a temporary sales tax increase.
Starting July 1, Deer Park's overall sales tax rate will increase to 8% from 7.5%. It will return to 7.5% after three years.
Because of that increase and other factors, sales tax revenue this fiscal year is expected to be $939,000 greater than the previous year, Village Administrator Beth McAndrews said.
Officials proposed boosting the tax rate because the COVID-19 crisis reduced the village's sales tax revenue. Unlike most towns, Deer Park doesn't levy a property tax, so sales tax revenue is the town's primary source of cash.
Because retail business was down significantly last year, the village reduced spending on infrastructure improvements and cut operating expenses, McAndrews said.
But with COVID-related restrictions easing and more vaccinations being administered each day, officials hope people will return to local stores and restaurants in greater and greater numbers.
"The sales tax revenue has been picking up over the last couple months," Trustee David Lemme said. "That's a good sign."
Additionally, revenues are expected to rise because of funding coming from the federal American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief effort, an increased share of state income tax and money from the Rebuild Illinois infrastructure program, McAndrews said.
With that money coming in, Deer Park officials expect to spend about $4.5 million on programs, services and staff over the next year.
That figure is up about $569,000 from the 2021 fiscal year's $3.9 million estimate, a change of nearly 15%.
Expenditures in the budget include:
• Road resurfacing on Field Parkway, Sturm Road and the northern portion Deerpath Road, which will cost about $401,000.
• Stormwater management projects that will cost about $420,000 and are part of a five-year drainage improvement program.
• Park maintenance and improvements that will cost $25,000.
If revenues don't meet expectations, officials will look at deferring projects, Lemme said.
"We're going to monitor it," he said.