Home Rule Referendum Blog

Feb 29

FAQ: Is it true the Village considered offering $5 million in property tax relief?

Posted on February 29, 2024 at 11:53 AM by Village of Roselle

Ref-PropTaxReliefFinalNo. The Village collects approximately $6.5 million in property taxes. Reducing property tax revenue by $5 million would reduce public safety funds by 77%.

Nearly 93% of property tax revenue is dedicated to public safety. Almost 50% of property tax revenue is dedicated to meet public safety pension requirements that are set by the state of Illinois. The Roselle Police Department and the Roselle Fire Department each receive about 16.5% of property tax revenue to fund their operations. 10% of property tax revenue supports emergency medical services. The remaining 7.5% supports all other municipal services like snow removal and Finance Department services. Property tax revenue is not distributed toward infrastructure.

Feb 23

FAQ: How long will the Village need additional funding for infrastructure?

Posted on February 23, 2024 at 1:58 PM by Village of Roselle

Ref FB Posts Wide (12)Wastewater is only one aspect of our community’s infrastructure. To fund critical and mandated updates to Roselle’s two wastewater treatment plants, the Village will take out loans totaling over $80 million. These loans will have a 20 year repayment period; this means the Village will need $4.5 million in additional, annual revenue for two decades to meet loan repayment requirements. The Village plans to generate that $4.5 million by increasing water bill costs, which would involve CIS rates doubling over time, or by establishing a 1-1.5% home rule sales tax if the referendum passes to keep CIS rates lower.

The Village is also working to reduce flooding in Roselle by pursuing stormwater system improvements. Under home rule, any sales tax revenue above what is needed to complete wastewater improvements could be directed towards stormwater improvements. Without home rule, the Village may have to increase some utility taxes to generate revenue or delay stormwater updates.

We do not know what future regulatory burdens will be placed on Roselle or how economic conditions will change in 20 years. The Board annually reviews these conditions when debating the annual budget and setting future rates and fees. Additionally, the Board also uses the Capital Improvement Plan process to outline projects expected to take place over the next five years.

Has the Village applied for grants to cover these infrastructure updates?
The Village proactively pursues grant funding for a variety of projects; in 2023, the Village secured over $4 million in grant funding, including the following infrastructure-related grants:

  • $2.9 million State grant for Irving Park Rd. pedestrian bridge
  • $750k Community Project Funding from Rep. Krishnamoorthi
    50% currently earmarked for stormwater studies
  • $250K State grant for infrastructure
    Earmarked for Rosemont Ave. and Clearwater St. stormwater updates (culvert replacement)

However, grants are not a guaranteed source of annual revenue. Grants and donations make up about 1% of the Village’s General Fund revenue.

More to explore:

Feb 23

A Message from Mayor Pileski

Posted on February 23, 2024 at 1:58 PM by Village of Roselle

On March 19, residents will choose whether Roselle should become a home rule community. This election is the culmination of over a year of engaging with the community on the challenges of recent unfunded mandates. While the issue is very serious, I celebrate the fact we are living by the principles of democracy and each resident can vote their conscience on this issue. Big decisions should be done by referendum and regardless of the outcome, the Village Board is ready to implement policies to ensure Roselle continues to endure. 

This is the 34th consecutive year we have been recognized for achievement in financial reporting. Our rainy-day fund can cover over 50% of our annual expenditures and our public safety pensions are all passing the 60% funding mark. The Village has been living within our means and responsibly taking care of our community: that has not changed.

What did change was unfunded Illinois Environmental Protection Agency mandates that will cost Roselle $80 million by the end of the decade. To put it into perspective, the cost of these upgrades would account for over four years of our entire operating budget: spending nothing on anything but these mandated improvements. Despite advocating for Roselle through the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup, the Village is not able to delay the timeline for these IEPA-mandated projects and must take action.

With this being our reality, the Board has evaluated how we can pay for these improvements using our authority today by increasing the capital improvement surcharge (CIS) rate from $7.50 to $20 by 2032, which would cost an average resident over $1,000 in CIS fees per year. If home rule were approved, we could implement a local sales tax and/or gasoline tax that would allow everyone, resident or visitor, to pay through their transaction for our infrastructure improvements. CIS rates under home rule would be 50-60% less than they would be without a home rule sales tax to supply additional funding for infrastructure.

Treating sewage water is not optional. What we do have a say in is how and who pays for these upgrades.

This letter was first published in the Roselle Reporter Special Referendum Edition, which will be mailed to homes in February 2024.