Outlook grim for village’s finances, accountant says

By on October 23, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—Maple Park’s financial consultant warned the Maple Park Village Board that the village faces a financial crunch because of limited property taxes for 2009.

Under the state’s property tax cap law, the village may increase property taxes this year by just one tenth of one percent, the same as the 2008 Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“That’s a serious revenue concern for Maple Park, since property taxes are the village’s prime source of revenue,” said David Jepson CPA, of Financial Advisory Services, during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

In addition, Jepson expects Maple Park’s state-income tax revenue to be $19,000 less for 2009, and that motor-fuel tax will drop significantly, based on estimates from the Illinois Municipal League.

A further revenue decline will result from less sales tax generated in the village. Jepson said sales tax for the village was $26,800 for May through October 2009, compared to $35,710 for the same period in 2008.

“Unfortunately, when you put all those things together, it does not look very good for revenue for Maple Park,” Jepson said.

Because of that financial forecast, Jepson recommended that Maple Park officials look closely at ways to cut village expenses in the next fiscal budget and find other sources of revenue.

Village President Kathy Curtis said that when the Village Board developed the last annual budget, it was very conservative.

“There were no employee raises for fiscal 2009-10, and we have drastically cut our engineering and lawyer expenses,” Curtis said.

The village also has been applying for grant and stimulus monies, Curtis said.

State law limits property tax increases for non-home-rule municipalities to the CPI amount for the previous year, or 5 percent, whichever is lower, plus new-property taxes. Maple Park did not have any new-property growth for 2009, village officials said.