Kane OKs budget, expects tax drop
By Matt Brennan For The Beacon-News October 25, 2012 4:22PM
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:48AM
GENEVA — The Kane County Board wrapped up many of its final fiscal obligations in a special meeting on Thursday, including passing a fiscal year 2013 budget and 21 levies that will slightly reduce the county line on residents’ property tax bills.
Although robocalls were being made to residents around the county saying the county may be raising taxes, Chairman Karen McConnaughay called that a political cheap shot. There was an early proposal to raise the general fund levy, which would have increased taxes, but that was voted down weeks earlier.
“Your overall taxes that you’re collecting will be less than last year,” she said.
The board passed a $231 million budget for fiscal year 2013, which is down from 2012’s $236 million budget.
Last year, the board levied for $53.96 million. This year it will levy for $53.89 million, a difference of .13 percent. The board went through each of the levies, voting on each one.
Board member Melisa Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, was concerned about a levy for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, which has more than doubled, ballooning from $3.10 million in 2003 to $7.07 this year. This is the levy that pays retirement funds and pensions for county employees.
“That is one huge levy increase,” Taylor said.
The IMRF levy can fluctuate with the county’s obligation for pensions. Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, proposed using part of the county’s cash reserves to pay for the cost, but McConnaughay said that would not be a good idea on a fund that can fluctuate from year to year.
The budget calls for a 2 percent pay increase for non-union staff that will be paid for out of the county’s contingency fund. The County Board also approved several union contracts for employees in the 911 center, the Health Department, the Department of Education and Employment, and the county clerk’s office.
The special meeting on Thursday was set because McConnaughay said that much of her staff will be leaving by Nov. 1. She intends to cancel the full County Board meeting for November, she said.