Carol Stream has approved its first municipal property tax in 40 years. As we have discussed our financial condition, future expenditures, projected revenue shortfalls and future funding, the topics below have generated interest. A collection of relevant links is included at the end of this page.
In 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court determined that public pensions are constitutionally guaranteed and municipalities are unable to diminish or impair pension benefits. The Village is obligated to fund the Police and non-police pension systems under state mandated guidelines.
The Carol Stream Village Government is a distinct and separate government entity. Other agencies like the Library, Park District, Fire District, School District, County and Townships are distinct and separate governmental entities with their own elected governing Board of Directors. The Village does not have jurisdiction over their actions or responsibilities. For example the Village cannot control how many parks the Park District builds or how many events they have.
Below is a chart that shows the effect of the approved $3.8 Million levy compared to the other taxing bodies.
The Carol Stream Library requested and the Village agreed to loan them up to $2 Million. It was determined that the overall burden on Carol Stream residents would be less if the Village loaned the Library the money versus the Library getting a loan from a private agency. In order to pay back the Village, the Library is increasing the levy, this increase is expected to be less than $15.00 a year for a median home value. Here is a link to an agenda of a Special Workshop held during the loan discussion.
Most Village sponsored events are funded completely or partially by sponsorships, donations, grants, and partnerships. Those that do cost the Village money are typically between $250 to $1,500 dollars. The Village benefits from a wonderful volunteer base that is estimated to save us $30,000 a year with over 1,250 hours of volunteerism. Our most expensive event is our 4th of July Celebration. The parade is managed by the volunteer Parade Committee, a distinct group. The fireworks are a partnership with the Carol Stream Park District. The 4th of July Concert is funded by community sponsorships. Overall the 4th of July costs the Village around $15,000 to $20,000 any given year. Our events are not designed to be revenue generating for the Village and are designed to offer all residents low to no cost opportunities to gather as a community.
Salaries and Staffing
Municipal governments are service organizations, which is why approximately 75% of the cost of local governments are comprised of personnel costs. The 4.5% average increase in payroll and benefits costs is comprised of union and non-union salary increases as well as other payroll costs. This figure also includes payment of leave balances at retirement, promotional increases, savings from hiring replacement positions at lower salaries, contractually obligated union STEP increases and new employee costs. This figure also reflects staffing increases made after the Great Recession. During and immediately after the recession the Village decreased staffing significantly. In order to meet our service obligations, we have been slowly returning staffing to pre-recession levels. Carol Stream has approximately 4.13 total employees per 1,000 residents, which places us in the middle of our peer communities. Carol Stream salaries and benefits are competitive with our peer communities falling somewhere in the middle to slightly above average
Carol Stream, like many other municipalities, has seen a significant decrease in traditional revenues needed to provide basic Village services and maintain Village capital resources. Most other municipalities supplement the loss of sales, utility, and other revenues with a property tax assessment (see slides 27-28 in the workshop presentation). Without a property tax, which residents in most other municipalities pay, the Village will be forced to cut basic services, reduce employee size and allow capital facilities, such as roads and storm water facilities used to prevent flooding to be maintained at a much lower level.
Opportunity for Comment
All Village Board Meetings are open to the public and noticed on our community calendar. Agendas are typically made available online the Friday before the meeting. Special Meetings are announced on our calendar as we determine dates. We hosted two September 30th time slots for a special forum to discuss a property tax, one at 9 AM and another at 6 PM. We also hosted a third session on Sunday, October 6th at 9 AM. The forums have been recorded and shared on our YouTube Channel. On October 21st a levy of $3,800,000 was approved after receiving resident input. The public hearing and final adoption of the tax levy was November 18, 2019.
Thank you all for your involvement in this important community topic.
Property Tax Levy Impacts
At the October 21st Village Board Meeting, a resolution was presented to levy a municipal property tax. The Village requested a tax levy totaling $3,800,000 and the Library requested a tax levy totaling $3,674,461 for 2019. The estimated impact to the owner of a median valued home with a market value of $231,400 is $232 (Village) and $224 (Library). This reflects a $232 increase for the Village and a $0 increase for the Library. Both levies were approved at the November 18, 2019 meeting. Below is a chart with additional examples of municipal levy impacts, other taxing body amounts are not included.
Property Market Value
*Median Home Value
Assessments and Exemptions
Property assessments are conducted by the township where the property is located. Property taxes are determined by two separate annual cycles, the assessment cycle and the levy cycle. Assessments can be appealed to the Board of Review if submitted by the Township Deadline.
DuPage County has forms and information available related to Homestead Exemptions. There are a variety of exemptions and freezes open to application including Disabled Persons’, Returning Veterans’, Senior Citizens’, and many more. Senior Citizens may also apply for a Tax Deferral Program through DuPage County. Questions related to assessments and exemptions should be directed to DuPage County at (630) 407-6500.
State of the Village (May 2019)
Special Meeting Workshop (8/5/19)
Special Meeting Workshop (8/19/19)
Special Meeting Workshop (2/5/18)
Special Meeting Workshop (2/20/18)
Special Meeting Workshop (3/5/18)