Local Issues Director: Karen Gorz, The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn
Our chapter of the League follows major issues of interest to our membership; each area is the responsibility of a local issues director. They track legislation and items of particular timely interest. Our Observer Corps attends meetings to report back to the board and members on key issues.
LATEST REPORT: September 13, 2018
Local Affairs Report
This month (and last month too) at the Glen Ellyn Village Board Meetings it’s all about the proposed 1.5% proposed food and beverage tax, the proceeds of which would be dedicated to the Capital Projects Fund. There are several proposed projects. They are:
1. Parking garage (One initially, more on the wish list)
2. Streetscape upgrade
3. Roosevelt Road access improvement
4. Civic Center HVAC
5. Train Station remodel/replace, and pedestrian underpass
On Monday of this week at the Village Board Meeting, a proposed l.5% food and beverage tax was passed by a straw poll, to be implemented in March of 2019. The actual vote for the bill will be held at the next board meeting, September 24.
A little history and a few facts:
HOME RULE AND VILLAGE FINANCES
For 2018 the State of IL cut by 10% the share of home rule revenue to the village, resulting in a $290,000 cut for the year. In addition, the state charges the 2% village to collect the tax, and the cost to the village to collect the tax was $40,000 in 2017.
In July of 2018 the village raised the Home Rule tax by .25% to a total of 1.25% Grocery, auto and prescription drug purchases are not affected by the tax.
Due to the cut in the State of IL tax rebates and increased police pension contributions, the 2018 budget for the village had a deficit of $848,000.
CAPITAL PROJECTS FUND
Funding for all of the projects mentioned above comes from the Capital PROJECTS Fund. The three main sources for the fund are
1. Local taxes (51%)
2. Utility taxes (27%)
3. Transfer taxes
The revenues from the utility tax have fallen over the past ten years, primarily due to increased efficiency and the trend from landlines to cell phones. In 2018 the village will receive $550,000 less than ten years ago in utility tax revenue.
Over the past four years the village has limited the property tax levy to the fund, in an effort to keep local property taxes stable. Also, in 2000, a referendum passed to commit the village to a repair and replacement of streets on a 20 year cycle, and it is the intent to keep that program in place for continued maintenance of city streets.
There is mixed reception to the proposed 1.5% food and beverage tax among the local merchants. Most merchants realize that these capital projects cannot be built without some increased revenue. Some have proposed a further increase in the home rule tax and a smaller food and beverage tax increase, and some do not want any increase in taxes at all.
VILLAGE SHARE OF A TAX BILL
A look at my own tax bill showed that the village receives 6.67% of my bill, the library 4.3% and the park district, 4.07. Depending on your address, these percentages could change.
MEETING FOR FINAL VOTE
The meeting for the final vote will be held September 24, at the Galligan Board Room in the Civic Center.
All of the meetings and agenda details are on-line on the village website, villageofglenellyn.org.