Naperville eyeing priorities based on expected budget surplus
With budget workshops a month away, Naperville officials are already discussing spending priorities based on a projected surplus of several million dollars for 2021.
During this week's monthly budget report to the city council, Naperville Finance Director Rachel Mayer said year-end revenues are expected to exceed expenditures by $4 million to $5 million. The surplus grows to about $10 million with the influx of $6 million in federal stimulus funding for the second half of the year.
While budgeted revenues of $81 million for 2021 are trending closer toward $91 million, Mayer said an increase in expenditures the rest of this year will narrow the margin closer to the $4 to $5 million surplus amount.
Budget workshops for 2022 are scheduled for October and November, with budget approval slated for December.
Council members are hoping to address various goals and projects with the extra money. Part of the plan could include passing along money to residents dealing with higher costs due to inflation and other factors, possibly through a property tax rebate.
"I think we need to be conscious of that and respectful of that, and look at ways in which we can help those taxpayers that are going to be feeling the weight of just what we are," Councilwoman Patty Gustin said. "I know in the past we have done some type of rebate. Maybe there's some other reduction opportunities out there."
Councilman Paul Hinterlong suggested it might be time to address infrastructure needs, while Mayor Steve Chirico said the city should be cognizant of upcoming radio and body camera expenses looming in the police department. Because of future financial uncertainties, though, Chirico said he preferred a rebate to residents as opposed to a permanent reduction in charges.
Councilman Paul Leong agreed with Chirico in terms of rebates, saying committing to long-term reductions without long-term financial resources is risky.
"If the best we can do is rebates, I'm all for them," Leong said.