October 26, 2010
Civic Federation Supports FY2011 Budget, Urges More Complete Planning Process
Citing DuPage County’s plan to cut expenditures by 3.0% while pledging to maintain core services, the Civic Federation announced today that it supports the $459.4 million proposed FY2011 budget. However, the Federation warned that the County will need to improve its financial planning process to prepare for an uncertain future.
Like many governments, DuPage County predicts continued declines in its economically sensitive revenues for FY2011, including income and sales tax proceeds. In response, the County proposes salary freezes and a 1.6% reduction in staff as well as a slight property tax increase of $250,000 to balance its budget. “DuPage County leaders are prudently recommending a maintenance budget for FY2011 in the face of ongoing economic malaise,” said Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation.
Unfortunately, the difficult times are not at an end. Even though the County is reducing headcount this year, it projects continuing increases in personnel costs, including 10% rises in health insurance and pension expenses. The Federation is also concerned that the County’s overly optimistic sales tax revenue projections will present a challenge to the government’s ability to live within its budget next year.
The Civic Federation therefore encourages DuPage County to fully implement the planning policies the Civic Federation has recommended for the past five years. These policies should include:
- A robust performance measurement system that would guide future difficult decisions on policy issues;
- A more complete Capital Improvement Plan that is transparent to residents; and
- A formal long-term financial plan that involves input from policymakers and stakeholders.
“DuPage County is doing many financial things right, such as maintaining adequate reserve funds,” said Msall. “However, if the County is to continue to minimize the burden it places on taxpayers, it must develop long-term plans to counteract worrying financial trends.”
The Civic Federation’s full set of recommendations to improve the financial management practices of DuPage County government can be found at www.civicfed.org.