Mount Prospect backs off on monthly storm sewer fee

 
Posted12/2/2021 5:30 AM

Mount Prospect residents are off the hook next year from paying a new $5-per-month storm sewer utility fee designed to provide the village with $1 million annually for flood control and storm sewer projects.

That's because the village received $2.5 million to $4 million over budget estimates for sales tax revenue, Finance Director Amit Thakkar told the village's finance commission at a special meeting Tuesday. The commission recommended deferring the fee for a year.

 

Thakkar said the board will amend the budget to allocate the $1 million from sales tax revenue to designated projects instead of charging the storm sewer fee.

Thakkar said the need for a reliable revenue source remains.

"There is nothing changing from that perspective," he said. "We still need a dedicated funding source."

He explained that there is a three-month lag between the date sales taxes are paid and when the village receives the revenue.

"So something that is sold in Mount Prospect in July, they file those sales taxes in August, the Department of Revenue processes them in September, and then we get the payment in October. But we get the data from those sales taxes around the end of November," he said.

Now that the village has the latest figures, he said, "the most conservative analysis that we have as of today shows that we will exceed our sales tax budget by $2.5 million."

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He said that the total might be as high as $4 million.

Thakkar said the board will revisit the storm sewer fee when discussing the 2023 budget.

He also suggested changing the way the village uses home-rule sales taxes to fund capital projects. Currently, the village uses three-quarters of the funds for that purpose, with the rest used for general operations. However, he said, some communities devote all of their home-rule sales taxes toward capital needs.

Finance Commission member Yulia Bjekic said she "had an issue with just a flat $5 fee," but she mentioned the need to look at ideas for funding flood control projects.

"So I feel like let's not kick the can down the road," she said.

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