DuPage Chairman Presents Fiscal Year 2013 Budget
Proposal includes $8.1 million in cuts, no property tax increase.
DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin on Tuesday presented a $431.8 million county budget, which represents a reduction in spending of $8.1 million compared to last year.
“Thanks to the careful stewardship of this board and the cautious approach we’ve taken in this fragile and unstable economy, DuPage taxpayers remain protected from any need to raise taxes or cut essential services,” said Cronin, of Elmhurst.
Since taking office in December 2010, Cronin has cut more than $13 million from the county’s budget, according to a press release from the county.
The FY 2013 budget also includes:
- No property tax increase
- Reduction in full-time headcount by seven positions (proposed headcount 2,227), which equates to more than 40 over the past two years
- Appropriation of $16.9 million for campus and countywide improvements, including the Enterprise Resource Planning system that is expected to save taxpayers $9 million over 20 years due to consolidation of functions and greater efficiencies.
One of the largest long-term financial challenges for the county is employment costs associated with pension benefits. In order to get a better handle on these expenses, which account for $30 million annually, the County Board modernized personnel benefits last year. The reforms are expected to save taxpayers $20 million over the next 20 years.
“We are already realizing immediate savings due to reduced payouts for accumulated sick and vacation days. By mid-term this year, benefit payouts were $1.6 million lower than the same time last year with no increase expected for 2013,” said Cronin. “We expect this trajectory to continue into the future.”
Cronin said the budget also reflects significant cost savings that have occurred as a result of the year-long effort to evaluate the operations at 24 independent agencies in DuPage County.
“Based on the results of this analysis, I launched the ACT Initiative (Accountability, Consolidation and Transparency) last spring," Cronin said. "Rather than allowing the reports to sit on a shelf and collect dust, we are taking action, which has produced some significant results."
The reforms include:
- Saving taxpayers nearly $600,000 over the next three years at the Election Commission due to staff cuts and shared services with county government
- Increasing accountability and transparency in 14 of the 24 agencies by adopting the county’s ethics ordinance
- Eliminating the use of credit cards, cell phone and other unnecessary expenses by several agencies
- Updating procurement and hiring practices by several agencies
- Posting meeting agendas and minutes online by five agencies.
Information courtesy of a press release from DuPage County.