Last month the County Executive gave his vision of a balanced budget for 2019. So far his vision has been a good one. We are once again the beneficiary of a AA+ bond rating by Moody’s is due to stable fund balances, controlled expenditures and long term planning. Below are some highlights of his budget address on Sept. 20th.
Our 2018 budget was reduced by 2.4 million due to state budget problems, in the coming year of 2019 we will see a little less cutting and restoration of some of last years state funding cuts.
Our employees continue to do a great job for Will County Residents. In 2019 we will take the CPI (Consumer Price Increase) and new property into consideration when the levy is agreed upon. That would increase our revenue by $2.5 mill and $1.8 respectively. The total of $3.6 Million will go to the corporate fund, $500k to capital. And $200k to FICA and IMRF. This will lower our tax rate. For 2018 the property tax rate will be .5898 which is lower than the 2017 tax rate of 0.5986.
We have a 5 year capital and road plan that will be updated as new projects and funding sources are identified, we will appropriate one year at a time and have funds available to be reallocated as needed.
Courthouse, Public Safety Complex, Animal Control, Emergency Management Agency, Health Department. The 2019 budget includes necessary funding to pay for these projects. We are spending about 20 Million per year on road improvements annually. This includes 45 Million for Weber Road interchange rebuilding.
We continue to invest in modern technology to improve and streamline processes. We have kicked off a new finanacial management system and are beginning the process of implementing a new case management system for our court and probation processes.
No cash reserves are being used to balance the budget, we are also allocating 1 Million to post employment benefits and 2 million to IMRF to pave the way for future retirements of our workforce.
This is the 8th year that we have been keeping salary and fringe in the 76-79% range of the corporate budget, prior to this it was in the 85% range. Showing the slimming of the workforce cost to taxpayers.
This is just the beginning of the process, as this is the County Executives budget proposal. Now the County Board will have a look and more likely than not make a number of revisions and changes. In past years the Board has not adopted the new property and CPI into the revenue stream and have made cuts to balance the budget as needed. Only time will tell as to what the board will actually approve. Sometimes you can be penny wise and pound foolish.