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.
Join the Conversation!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!)
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:
- Funding Solutions
- Funding Needs
- Home Rule
- Other Questions
- Infrastructure Funding 101
- 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.
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.
|Infrastructure Funding from Sales and Local Gas Tax
|Infrastructure 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:
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 Rule
|CIS 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 Revenue
|Only 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.
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.
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.
Why does Roselle need to increase funding for infrastructure improvements?
Wastewater Treatment & Collection:
Additional funding needed to address pavement conditions.
- Water System: IEPA-mandated deadlines to replace existing lead service lines
- Stormwater: Mitigate stormwater flooding within Devlin Drainage Basin and Seasons 4 Drainage Basin
How much additional annual revenue is needed for infrastructure improvements?$6 million in additional annual revenue for infrastructure will allow the Village to comply with IEPA mandates and improve the effectiveness of the annual Street Improvement Program.
What is home rule?
Illinois municipalities are either home rule or non-home rule. Home rule is automatically granted to municipalities with a population over 25,000. Because Roselle's population is less than 25,000, our community is a non-home rule municipality. Communities with populations below 25,000 may become home rule by passing a referendum. 2/3 of home rule municipalities in Illinois gained home rule status via referendum.
Home rule municipalities have more authority to address local issues through policies and regulations and can create new revenue streams to reduce reliance on property taxes and resident fees. Non-home rule municipalities, on the other hand, have fewer tools to address local issues and are more restricted when it comes to creating new revenue streams.
Are other nearby communities home rule?
Nearly every community that borders Roselle is home rule. Bloomingdale gained home rule status via referendum in 1996; the other neighboring home rule communities gained their status by reaching more than 25,000 residents.
If the home rule referendum passes, is Roselle permanently a home rule municipality?
No. The Board could pursue a referendum to remove home rule status in a future election. Voters may also initiate a referendum to remove home rule status by filing a petition signed by a number of qualified electors. An election to change from a home rule municipality to a non-home rule municipality may only be held once in every 47-month period per state of Illinois Election Code.
If voters reject home rule, could the Board put home rule on the ballot again?
Yes, however, a home rule referendum may not be held more than once in any 23-month period per state of Illinois Election Code.
Home Rule & Resident Cost Implications
How would home rule affect property taxes?
At their Nov. 6, 2023 meeting, the Board passed a resolution stating they 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.
There is no evidence that home rule municipalities in Illinois have higher or faster growing property taxes than non-home rule municipalities. Home rule municipalities may raise or lower their property tax rate, but many home rule communities are able to reduce their reliance on property tax revenue by using their home rule authority to create new streams of revenue.
How would home rule affect CIS rates?
The Capital Improvement Surcharge (CIS) on your utility bill goes directly to the Water/Sewer Capital Projects Fund, which is used for improvements to our water and wastewater systems. At their Nov. 6, 2023 meeting, the Board passed a resolution establishing a not-to-exceed limit for CIS rates from 2025-2029:
- 2025 - $9.00 per 1,000 gallons
- 2026 - $9.25 per 1,000 gallons
- 2027-29 - $9.50 per 1,000 gallons
If the Village gains home rule status, CIS would be used to close the gap between sales tax revenue earned and total revenue needed for mandated wastewater improvements. The more sales tax revenue earned, the less the Village would need to rely on CIS funding. This could allow CIS rates to stabilize, spreading any rate increases out over longer periods of time.
If the Village does not gain home rule status, the CIS will remain the only revenue source for water/sewer infrastructure improvements. CIS rates would more than double, reaching $20 per 1,000 gallons by 2032, to meet revenue demands of mandated wastewater projects.
Do other home rule communities have a CIS or other user fees that support infrastructure improvements?
Yes. While each municipality handles infrastructure funding differently, many nearby communities use revenue from user fees to support infrastructure improvements and/or repay debt from past infrastructure projects:
|Addtl Monthly Charge(s) Outside Water/Sewer Rates
|Type of Rate
|User Charge (bimonthly)
|Elk Grove Village
|Stormwater Management Fee
|By water meter size
|$5.00 (typical residential rate)
1) Capital Project Debt
2) Capital Infrastructure Fee
Infrastructure Service Charge
|By water meter size
|$19.98 (typical residential rate)
|Rates were sourced in fall 2023 from municipalities' websites. Rates may have changed since initially sourced. The Village will keep this table as updated as possible.
If Roselle becomes home rule, will the vehicle sticker program end?
At their Nov. 6, 2023 meeting, the Board passed a resolution about the vehicle sticker program: 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.
Home Rule & Local Authority
What kinds of regulations and policies can home rule municipalities create that non-home rule municipalities cannot?
Home rule municipalities may pass ordinances regulating the areas of building, zoning, sanitation, nuisance, civil disturbance and all other matters of public health, safety, morals and welfare unless specifically restricted by state law (e.g., home rule municipalities cannot set a different age minimum for alcohol purchase/consumption). For example, home rule communities may establish:
1. Crime-Free Housing ordinances, which can require rental property inspections and can create stronger regulations for short-term rentals.
2. Licensing ordinances for businesses and landlords, which can require health and safety inspections and can grant municipalities the ability to revoke a business license in following appropriate due process.
3. Consumer protection criteria for the sale of a home, which can grant municipalities the ability to require a home inspection as part of the sale.
What are the limitations of home rule?
Real Estate Transfer Tax: Home rule units may only impose this tax after passing a separate referendum to do so. The Village Board has expressed no interest in establishing a Real Estate Transfer tax.
Changing Form of Government: Home rule municipalities that wish to alter their form of government are able to do so only after passing a separate referendum.
What are the charges on my utility bill?
Water rates are developed to recover the cost of purchasing water for the community. Sewer rates vary depending on your county. Roselle’s Cook County residents are in the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and pay into that system through a combination of user rates and property taxes. Roselle residents in DuPage County pay for sewer services through user rates only.
The Capital Improvements Surcharge is used to support improvements to our wastewater and water systems.
The amount you pay for water, sewer, and the Capital Improvement Surcharge depends on your household’s usage level, which can fluctuate over the year. Contact the Finance department if you have questions about your utility bill or water and sewer rates.
What will happen to CIS rates if the referendum does not pass?
If Roselle remains non-home rule, CIS revenue will remain the Board’s only means of funding water and wastewater improvements. CIS rates would more than double, reaching $20 per 1,000 gallons by 2032, to meet revenue demands of mandated wastewater projects (see teal line of chart).
If Roselle becomes home rule and establishes a local sales tax to fund infrastructure improvements, 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:
These not-to-exceed rates match the projected CIS rates residents could pay if the referendum passes and the Board were to set a local sales tax rate of 1% (see orange line of chart).
Is the municipal campus master plan/Petal Plaza part of the library’s proposed new building?
The Village of Roselle and the Roselle Public Library District are separate taxing bodies that do not share funding. The Village’s plans to update the municipal campus are not tied to the result of the library’s referendum question on the April 4, 2023 ballot. While the Village and the Library have worked together to create initial concepts for the space between its buildings, it is important to note that any construction of a new Library building and the Village’s planned renovation of the municipal campus are separate projects.
In this video, you'll learn how property taxes support local taxing districts that serve our community, how those taxing bodies can and cannot collaborate on special projects, and why a property tax increase is not being considered to increase financial support for infrastructure.
How does the Village fund infrastructure improvements?Infrastructure improvements are primarily supported by one of the following funds:
For more information about each fund, view the Village's FY 2023 Budget.
Do my property taxes fund infrastructure improvements?No. Approximately 10% of your property tax bill goes to the Village; property taxes go into the General Fund, which is used to cover government operating expenses like personnel (including Public Works, Police, Fire, and pensions) and contractual services (such as paramedic services and 9-1-1 dispatch, snow removal, and more). For more information, view the Village’s FY 2023 Budget.
Is the Village planning to increase property taxes to fund infrastructure improvements?
No, the Village is not considering levying additional property taxes to secure funds for infrastructure projects.
Is the Village considering increasing other rates/fees to fund infrastructure improvements?
Potentially. Some options for securing necessary revenue could include rate or fee increases that would need Village Board approval. Other options would require voter approval and would be decided by a future referendum. Ultimately, the Village wants to hear from the community before choosing a path forward. The Village will solicit feedback on funding options from forum attendees and will continue the conversation with residents over the coming months.
What is Infrastructure?Infrastructure impacts everyone in our community, from residents to business owners to visitors. Maintaining reliable infrastructure is critically important to health and quality of life in Roselle. Infrastructure includes our streets and sidewalks, water system, wastewater treatment and collection, stormwater, and buildings and grounds.
How does the Village maintain Roselle's infrastructure?
To maintain our community's infrastructure, the Village manages several annual infrastructure improvement programs, such as:
The Village systematically reviews infrastructure needs to prioritize and plan for future updates. View the 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan in the FY 2023 Budget, which also includes more information about the annual infrastructure programs above.