Palatine mayor calls 2023 budget with planned property tax cut 'a home run'

A reduction in property taxes and a commitment to paying down the town's debt are among the highlights of Palatine's 2023 budget, officials say.

Village council members are scheduled to vote Dec. 5 on the proposed balanced budget that calls for $132.9 million in spending, including $83.5 million on operations.

The budget will rely less on property taxes, with the village collecting about $22.5 million in 2023, approximately 2% less than this year.

It is the 20th budget that Village Manager Reid Ottesen and Director of Finance and Operations Paul Mehring have presented to the council.

"This is probably the best budget we have ever tendered to you," Ottesen told council members at a recent meeting.

Ottesen said the village is taking steps toward becoming debt free by the end of 2028, by devoting $1.6 million to a debt service reserve account.

The village also plans to supplement its public safety pension contributions with $750,000 beyond what actuaries recommend.

The budget calls for new hires, including a police officer that will allow the department to staff its traffic unit with two officers for the first time in more than a decade.

The village also intends to reclassify one patrol officer to the rank of sergeant, allowing the midnight shift to have four supervisors, as the day and evening shifts have. One sergeant will serve as a liaison to businesses that involve liquor, gambling and marijuana.

The budget also provides money to hire an assistant director of public works to help the department be more responsive to resident requests.

The village's $19 million capital spending plan includes $3.5 million on stormwater improvements at the intersection of Colfax and Smith streets. By the time it is finished, the overall project cost will be $7 million.

Mayor Jim Schwantz praised the budget at Monday's village council meeting, saying any one of the highlights presented by Ottesen "would be a home run for any other community."

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