How Naperville officials are proposing an 11.6% bigger budget with no tax or fee hikes

  • Naperville officials are proposing a $603 million budget for 2023 without increases in taxes or fees.

      Naperville officials are proposing a $603 million budget for 2023 without increases in taxes or fees. Kevin Schmit | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/2/2022 11:19 AM

Despite proposing to increase the city budget by 11.6% in 2023, Naperville officials say the $603 million plan includes no hikes in taxes or fees to residents.

In the first of three budget workshops, officials told the Naperville City Council that additional capital expenses primarily are responsible for the increase of nearly $63 million from the 2022 budget. But because of existing revenue streams and financial policies, officials said, the impact on residents will be mitigated.

 

The operating budget, which doesn't include capital investments or interfund transfers, is proposed to increase by 5.6% to $428.7 million. Revenues are scheduled to increase by $30.7 million, with the biggest streams continuing to be from service fees, including utilities, and local and state taxes.

Rachel Mayer, the city's finance director, said there are many reasons the budget can be increased without an accompanying rise in fees or taxes.

"Our state shared revenues with income taxes and state sales tax have significantly increased," she said. "While the rates have not gone up in those areas, we are seeing an influx of cash in both of those instances. So while we're not raising the rates, the natural economy growth is supporting a higher level of service."

Mayer also noted the growth of the community. While the city must provide additional services with expansion, there's also additional revenue.

Capital improvement programs account for 60% of the budget increase, which equates to an increase to $140 million for projects. Mayer said another reason fees aren't being increased is because money already raised through fees from previous years will help offset the additional spending.

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Costs for water projects are proposed to increase from $27.4 million last year to $44.3 million in 2023.

The proposed budget includes the addition of eight city positions, highlighted by a deputy city attorney, at a salary and benefits amounting to $187,000, and an assistant city manager at $113,000. The hiring of two police sergeants is requested, each at $150,000 in salaries and benefits.

The final two budget workshops will be held Nov. 9 and Nov. 21. Budget approval is anticipated at the Dec. 6 meeting.

"We have, maybe, some work to do here and there," Mayor Steve Chirico said. "But largely this is a lot of good news, generally speaking."

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