Will County budget approved with small tax decrease

11/25/2015, 9:36 a.m.
Because the tax levy has been reduced, the owner of a home valued at $200,000 will see a drop of ...

The Will County Board's public relations representatives provided this news release:

The Will County Board has approved a balanced $482 million budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The board also approved a 3.7 percent decrease in the corporate fund tax levy.

“With the economy improving and new construction starts increasing, Will County is reaping the benefits,” Chairman Jim Moustis said.

“We are seeing more jobs, increased retail sales, and more people calling this county their home. As a result, revenues are on the rise, and I'm pleased we are able to provide tax relief to homeowners by reducing the levy.”

Last year, the county's corporate fund levy was 0.6433 percent and accounted for nearly $116 million of revenue. This year, the board was able to reduce the levy to 0.6196 percent and actually bring in $1.3 million more because of new construction.

The owner of a $200,000 home will see an approximate $16 tax reduction, assuming the home's assessed value stays the same as last year.

"We must always be responsible with the taxpayer's dollars, and this budget is a fine example of that principle," said Mike Fricilone (R-Homer Glen), chair of the finance committee.

"While other county's continue to find ways to tax residents more and more, we are cutting taxes and finding ways to rein in spending. We are always working closely with all department heads to achieve this important goal."

The process of developing the budget took nearly six months. The finance committee held numerous meetings to discuss the most suitable tax rate and how best to balance the budget. Healthcare costs continue to prove challenging with an increase of nearly $3.2 million budgeted for next year. The budgeting process was also mindful of the county's various capital needs.

"Will County continues to be a great place to live, work, and do business, and we are proud to see more and more people recognize this by moving here," said Democratic caucus chair Herb Brooks, Jr. (D-Joliet). "This budget provides a solid roadmap for the county to meet the demands of our residents, while also planning for the future."

The new budget takes effect Dec. 1.