Residents would not see a property tax increase from Kane County’s latest budget proposal, but they would help balance the 2022 budget every time they refill their gas tanks.
The board of directors unanimously approved on Tuesday a draft budget that balances a projected deficit of more than $ 15 million for 2022 by reducing two-thirds of new hires requested by various departments, reducing a percentage of employees county and spending $ 10.5 million in reserves and COVID -19 federal relief funds.
Several board members have used the term “alarming” to describe the $ 10.5 million figure. It includes a full drain from the county’s property tax freeze protection fund. It’s an account that has avoided substantial property tax increases for almost a decade now.
County board member Dale Berman, who oversees the finance committee, said reducing reserves is a triage approach that saves county officials a bit more time.
âWhat we need to do is find a source of income that will compensate for what we take out of the reserves,â Berman said. “We really have to look to the future, but our problem right now is dealing with this budget.”
The budget does not include a property tax increase, although changes in property values ââdo affect individual tax bills. The project also waives a new retail occupancy tax, which would have imposed a 0.25% sales tax on retail items such as clothing, furniture and cars purchased in the county.
But the budget provides for a 6.28% increase in spending in the account that funds the county’s day-to-day operations.
For example, effective July 1, 2022, the county would increase its local sales tax on gasoline from 4 cents per gallon from 2 cents per gallon. Projections estimate this would bring in an additional $ 1 million for the county next year.
Several board members, many of whom are running for re-election in 2022, have also complained about the plan. They ultimately voted to go ahead with the budget proposal.
County residents now have until Nov. 9 to tell county officials how they feel about the budget plan before council takes the final vote.