It is my great pleasure to announce that there will be a 0% tax rate increase with the 2017 Village budget. It is the first time in over a quarter century that Village property taxpayers will see a 0% rate increase. It is a credit to the Village’s ongoing commitment to smart investment in our infrastructure, and efficient use of taxpayer dollars, that the Board has been able to stay more than $100,000 under the tax cap two years in a row.
A municipal budget is not so different from a household budget. If you want to know what a person really cares about, look at where they spend their resources. Village government is about serving the public. And that work is done by our staff. So it’s not surprising that 76% of the General Fund budget is dedicated to salaries and benefits. With that in mind, it is particularly remarkable that we were able to hold to a 0% tax rate increase even as employee benefit costs overall increased by 8.36% (or $859,326). The largest contributor to the employee benefit increase was health insurance, which skyrocketed by 13.9% (or $708,023).
The single greatest savings we saw this year was a direct result of smart, forward-thinking investment in our infrastructure. Thanks to installing LED streetlights, our electric bill decreased by $107,800 (or 22.38%). This is a stellar example of partnering with other municipalities for increased buying power, and implementing environmentally smart technology that provides a better product, at a significant cost reduction year after year.
We look forward to another year of outstanding work by our dedicated staff. And today we say a special thanks to the finance department and village management for their excellent work shepherding us through this lengthy and in-depth process.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees,