Geneva residents could see a noticeable impact to some key City services and programs if Gov. Bruce Rauner’s call to reduce the municipal share of the state income tax revenue by 50 percent comes to fruition.
Mayor Kevin Burns joined other municipal leaders at the Metro West Council of Government’s press conference Feb. 24 opposing the proposed cut to the Local Government Distributive Fund to help fix the state’s financial problems. In Geneva, that would translate to a loss of $1 million on an annual basis or 6 percent of the City’s General Fund budget.
The local share has been an important revenue stream for municipalities since the income tax was first instituted in Illinois in 1969. Local communities have counted on it for 45 years to help fund key public services.
“We respect the challenges facing our state government,” Mayor Burns said. “However, we resent the attempt to destroy local governments based on false information and lack of knowledge. To eliminate 50 percent of the Local Government Distributive Fund is irresponsible, and it is ill-advised. Every department in the City of Geneva will be affected if we lose $1 million under the governor’s proposal.”
The state income tax equals 12 percent of the City’s General Fund Budget, which pays for critical services such as police and fire protection, ambulance service, street and sidewalk maintenance and snow plowing. The proposed $1 million cut – or 6 percent of the General Fund budget – could impact those services as well as other important programs, including:
• Child safety seat inspections
• Prescription drug disposal program
• Community fire safety education programs
• Stormwater management
• Ride in Kane transportation program
• Mosquito abatement
• City communications
• Development reviews and inspections
• Business support and assistance
The City’s focus has been to provide essential core services and excellent customer service to its residents, business owners and community stakeholders. In spite of ongoing fiscal challenges, City officials have taken a conservative financial approach and proactive steps to manage increasing costs, deteriorating revenues and the uncertainty of a slowly recovering economy. The City’s 2015-16 budget will be balanced with a high-grade credit-rating based on sound financial footing. However, additional cuts affecting some key services would be needed if the state income tax revenue is reduced.
The City is encouraging people to contact the Governor and local state legislators and implore them to leave people’s tax dollars here at home where they directly affect quality of life in Geneva.
For more information about the impact of the proposed income tax revenue cuts, including a video of the Mayor speaking at the Metro West Council of Government’s press conference, click the link below.