Investing in Infrastructure: Home Rule Referendum

Over the next decade, Roselle has to complete a number of critical and mandated infrastructure updates that will require the Village to secure more funding for infrastructure: a minimum of $4.5 million in additional annual revenue. At their Nov. 6, 2023 meeting, the Village Board approved placing a home rule referendum question on the March 19, 2024 election ballot so that Roselle voters can decide the best way to fund mandated improvements and support our community’s long-term infrastructure needs.

Roselle voters will be able to vote "Yes" or "No" to the question: "Shall the Village of Roselle, Cook and DuPage Counties, Illinois become a home rule unit?"

If Roselle becomes a home rule municipality, the Board would be able to establish a local sales tax and local gasoline tax to generate revenue for IEPA-mandated improvements to Roselle's two wastewater treatment facilities. If Roselle remains a non-home rule municipality, the Capital Improvement Surcharge (CIS) residents pay will more than double over the next decade to generate needed revenue for mandated wastewater system improvements. Residents are encouraged to compare funding solutions to decide how they would like to vote.

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Coffee with the Board: Mar. 9, 10:00a.m.
Connect with your elected officials and ask questions about the referendum (or anything else related to the Village!)
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Home Rule: Board Resolutions

In addition to approving the home rule referendum question at their Nov. 6 meeting, the Board also approved three resolutions that outline how the Board would use home rule authority if the referendum passes:

1. Vehicle Stickers: The Board will evaluate by the end of 2025 whether the vehicle sticker program can end without negatively impacting core municipal services and infrastructure improvements that are currently funded by vehicle sticker revenue.2. Property Tax Increase Limitations: The Board will continue to follow the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) that Roselle is currently subject to as a non-home rule municipality, even if Roselle becomes a home rule unit. Under PTELL, any increase in property tax collection has to be no more than 5% or the rate of inflation in the consumer price index, whichever is less.3. Stabilize CIS Rates: Revenue from a home rule sales tax would allow the Village to reduce reliance on CIS revenue. If Roselle becomes home rule, the Board has determined CIS rates shall not exceed:
2025 - $9.00 per 1,000 gallons
2026 - $9.25 per 1,000 gallons 
2027-29 - $9.50 per 1,000 gallons

January 18 Community Forum

February 15 Community Forum

Latest Community Questions:

If the referendum passes, can the Village create a Real Estate Transfer Tax?

Not without voter approval. Home rule municipalities are authorized to create a Real Estate Transfer Tax only if residents pass a specific referendum to do so. Read more Home Rule: Fact or Fiction?

Does home rule sales tax apply to every purchase?

No. Home rule sales tax does not apply to purchasing vehicles, medical items or prescriptions, and most food sold at grocery stores. Read blog post.

Is the Village conducting surveys about local issues/the referendum?

No, the Village of Roselle is not conducting any community-wide surveys at this time, by phone or other methods.

What will happen to CIS rates if the referendum does not pass?

CIS rates will reach $20 by 2032 without home rule sales tax revenue to go towards mandated wastewater improvements. Revenue from a home rule sales tax would reduce CIS rates by 50-60% by 2032.  Read blog post

How does the Village use property tax revenue?

The Village's portion of collected property tax revenue is not used towards infrastructure improvements. Nearly 50% of property tax revenue is distributed towards pension obligations set by the state of Illinois. Read blog post

To learn more about home rule and the referendum, browse our FAQ repository:

  1. Funding Solutions
  2. Funding Needs
  3. Home Rule
  4. Other Questions
  5. Infrastructure Funding 101
  6. Infrastructure Basics

To compare infrastructure funding solutions, explore the chart below or download the PDF version.

Home Rule Status
Increase User Fees + Utility Taxes
Referendum Required: Roselle Voters Decide
No Referendum Required to Raise Revenue with Existing Tools
Communities with population below 25,000 can gain home rule status by passing a referendum. As a non-home rule municipality, the Village has limited tools to increase revenue for mandated infrastructure improvements. Gaining home rule status would provide the Board more options to fund infrastructure.Ballot Box Icon

The Board of Trustees can vote to increase user fees and/or utility taxes at any time to fund infrastructure improvements. Increasing user fees like the Capital Improvement Surcharge (CIS) would remain Roselle’s only means of funding infrastructure improvements.

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Infrastructure Funding from Sales and Local Gas TaxInfrastructure Funding from Resident Fees/Taxes

As a home rule municipality, the Board would be able to establish a local sales tax and a local gasoline tax to raise revenue for infrastructure. Home rule sales tax can increase by increments of .25% with Board approval.

If the Board set a home rule sales tax rate at 1.5%, spending $100 on qualifying purchases would add $1.50 to the transaction. 

If the Board set a local gas tax of 3 cents per gallon, filling a 15-gallon tank would cost an additional 45 cents. 

As a Non-Home Rule municipality, the Village of Roselle has limited tools to increase funding for infrastructure improvements, which are currently supported by user fees and utility taxes. Additional infrastructure funding would come from:

  • Increased CIS rates (2-3x)
  • Electric utility tax increase
  • Vehicle sticker cost increase
  • New 1% municipal utility tax

Complete Funding for Wastewater
Partial Funding for Wastewater

Home rule status would allow the Village to increase infrastructure funding through a sales tax. A 1.5% sales tax could provide about $5.25 million in revenue.  

Any additional revenue above the needed $4.5 million for wastewater improvements could be directed toward water and stormwater improvements.

Without additional revenue sources to support the Water/Sewer Capital Projects Fund, the CIS on your utility bill will increase significantly to raise enough revenue for mandated wastewater improvements

More Additional Funding for Streets
Less Additional Funding for Streets

Home rule would allow the Village to increase infrastructure funding through a local gasoline tax. A 3 cents/gallon tax could provide approximately $300,000 for streets and sidewalks.  

Additional revenue from a local sales tax could be used for street and sidewalk improvements.

Additional annual funding for street and sidewalk improvements could come from increasing Roselle’s electric tax to the maximum rate, increasing vehicle sticker costs, or establishing a new 1% municipal utility tax.

CIS Rates Under Home RuleCIS Rates with No Additional Sales Tax Revenue

The more sales tax revenue earned, the less the Village would need to rely on CIS funding. If Roselle becomes home rule, the Board has established not-to-exceed CIS rates for 2025-2029: 2025: $9.00/1,000 gallons 2026: $9.25/1,000 gallons 2027-2029: $9.50/1,000 gallons

Without an additional source of revenue to support mandated improvements to both of Roselle’s wastewater treatment plants, CIS rates will increase significantly to meet funding needs, reaching a rate of approximately $20.00 per 1,000 gallons in 2032.

Visitors Contribute RevenueOnly Residents Contribute Revenue

When you shop in neighboring home rule communities, your purchases contribute revenue to their infrastructure improvements. Under home rule, Roselle could raise revenue from visitors like our neighbors already do.

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Communities with home rule status can use revenue from local taxes to fund infrastructure improvements. This lowers the burden on residents because visitors contribute revenue, too. As a non-home rule municipality, Roselle does not have those tools at our disposal.

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Other ConsiderationsOther Considerations

Home rule status would allow Roselle to pursue a credit upgrade, providing more financing options that could lower the overall cost of major infrastructure updates.

Home rule status would provide Roselle more regulatory tools to respond to local issues. One example of home rule authority is the ability to enact Crime-Free Housing ordinances and create stronger regulations for short-term rentals.

Fewer financing solutions are available to non-home rule municipalities. This can increase the overall cost when taking out loans for major infrastructure improvements. 

As a non-home rule municipality, the Village is more restricted than home rule municipalities when it comes to addressing local issues with policies and regulations.