Financial Forecast Gives City of Naperville Positive Outlook

Naperville City Council
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A report to Naperville City Council members shows the city’s revenue streams have mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Naperville Finance Director Rachel Mayer delivered a presentation on the topic during Tuesday’s city council meeting.  She said the city’s financial position has made “notable progress”. In fact, the numbers show that revenue collected by the state of Illinois through June is outpacing the budget projections by more than 14%, or $5.3 million. This is in reference to the city’s top funding sources, which include taxes on state and home-rule sales, motor fuel, local use and income that are collected by the state.

State-Collected Revenues

The income tax remains the best performing, state-collected revenue stream, which Mayer said is at 40% above projection at $3.1 million. She added another good thing to note is the state’s motor fuel tax is now just 2% off of the city’s budget projections.

She said the revenue situation hit a low in July 2020, when Naperville realized a COVID-19 pandemic impact. Mayer credited the success of the city’s revenue recovery to three main factors: strong corporate earnings, enhanced unemployment benefits and a full return of the local income tax distributions.

Locally Collected Revenues

The road to recovery wasn’t easy for Naperville and its locally collected tax revenues either. Among the local funding sources hardest hit by the pandemic was the food and beverage sales tax.

“In May, the food and beverage sales surpassed $40 million for the first time since December of 2019,” Mayer said. “Even more impressive is the fact that May 2021 sales of $44 million is surpassing the May of 2019 sales by more than $1 million.”

Mayer said the local motor fuel sales tax is making a comeback, as well.

“Local gasoline sales are showing signs of return to normal with May sales coming within 5% of our February 2020 pre-pandemic sales,” she said.

The city is awaiting the returns on its hotel/motel tax collections. Officials expect to have more information next month when it becomes available. Mayer said she is anticipating an optimistic return in local revenue from the hotel/motel taxes because of the relaxation in COVID-19 mitigations allowing air travel and large gatherings.

Naperville News 17’s Megann Horstead reports.

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