Park District Property Taxes In Naperville Could Increase

file image of Naperville Park District logo on a shirt
Donate Today

Naperville homeowners may see a rise in the Naperville Park District’s portion of their property taxes.

Possible tax levy increase

The Naperville Park District’s property tax levy could increase 6 percent, based on a preliminary figure unveiled at a recent board of commissioners meeting. If adopted, it would result in approximately $17 more for the average homeowner, which is based on the assumption of a $421,000 property valuation.

District officials at their Nov. 10 meeting adopted a resolution in support of a preliminary figure that sets the stage for next month’s final adoption of a levy ordinance, which must be signed and certified by the end of the year under Illinois law.

The preliminary levy amount totals $23.23 million, but district officials said they actually anticipate the final figure coming in lower.

The proposed 6 percent figure is meant to capture any new valuation growth, particularly from new construction, across the district’s boundaries. At this time, the full amount of new valuation growth is not fully known, but will come into sharper focus next month when commissioners approve the final tax levy ordinance.

For most Naperville property owners, the park district’s levy will represent about 5 percent of the next overall tax bill.

“That remains consistent from prior years,” Director of Finance Sue Stanish said.

Raising taxes amid inflation?

The park board’s vote in support of the preliminary levy increase was unanimous, though there was discussion about the measure at a time when Naperville residents are dealing with a bevy of rising costs as inflationary pressures continue.

During deliberations, there was a suggestion of potentially raising user rates to absorb some of the district’s cost increases in lieu of the across-the-board tax hike — the argument being not all residents use the district’s parks, golf courses and other amenities.

Commissioner Marie Todd said there are a number of services provided through the district that are still free to use. Additionally, she said the district plays in important role in overall property values, meaning it benefits users and nonusers alike.

“I think that’s a bargain, in terms of what we’re asking,” Todd said of the levy. “We have to maintain what we already own, so let’s not be short sighted here.”

Looking ahead to the FY 2023 budget

District officials are also looking ahead to the forthcoming fiscal year 2023 budget, which is expected to total $47 million for day-to-day operations as well as an assortment of large- and small-scale maintenance projects.

Next year’s preliminary capital improvement fund within the broader budget clocks in at $12.8 million for some of the district’s 136 parks and 2,400 acres of green space.

Brad Wilson, executive director of the park district, said the levy is the largest income generator, accounting for approximately 54 percent of the revenue side of the ledger. Program fees are the second highest income generator, at 24 percent.

On the expense side, Wilson said the district is honed in on several goals and objectives, chief among them being ongoing recruitment and staffing efforts. As with many employers, the district has been challenged by the labor shortage of the past year.

The extensive work taking place at the Springbrook Golf Course in anticipation of a reopening in late spring or early summer of 2023 is one of the district’s largest facilities projects on the docket at the moment. Wilson said the work is on track with the timeline, thanks to Mother Nature.

“We’ve had great fall weather,” Wilson said. “The project is moving forward.”

It is anticipated the park board will vote on a final resolution for the levy at the next meeting on Dec. 8.

For Naperville News 17, Dave Fidlin reports.

If you have a story idea, send us a tip!