DuPage County Board approves $625 million budget

DuPage County Board members on Tuesday approved a $625 million spending plan for the 2024 fiscal year that keeps the tax levy flat while increasing funding to address food insecurity, add affordable housing and continue ongoing building projects.

"This is a fiscally responsible spending plan that makes critical infrastructure investments which will take the pressure off upcoming budgets," DuPage County Board Chairwoman Deborah Conroy said. "In the coming year, we will provide vital assistance to our residents who need it most while adding to our reserves and prepaying on county financial obligations."

The approved budget is about $13.3 million more than the spending plan Conroy presented in September. County officials said the increase is due to rising insurance costs, adjustments to salary line items and an increase in the DuPage County Care Center budget.

"There is room in our existing revenues to meet those needs," DuPage County Financial Officer Jeff Martynowicz said, noting that it is not unusual for changes to be made as the county works through its budget process.

The approved budget anticipates $70.5 million in property tax revenue, which allows the county to capture taxes from new construction but does not increase the county's tax rate.

The new fiscal year begins on Friday, Dec. 1.

DuPage expects to end its 2023 fiscal year with a $18.9 million surplus. Conroy plans to use some of those for a variety of projects, including $3 million to update aging county infrastructure, $2.5 million for affordable housing projects, an additional $2 million for transportation, $800,000 for stormwater management projects and $500,000 to design and build sidewalks and improve lighting in unincorporated Willowbrook.

The county also will use federal relief dollars to buy a new camera system for the jail, replace a 50-year-old heating and ventilation system in the main county administration building and add $1 million to the county's general fund reserves.

The budget also earmarks another $2.6 million to help address food insecurity and assist local food pantries, $1 million to benefit small nonprofit agencies and $250,000 to support the DuPage Council on Strengthening the System for Mental Health and Substance Use Care, a newly formed council to address substance abuse and mental health care needs in the county.

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