Elmhurst responds to state budget changes in preparations for 2019 city budget

Tom Trosien, the director of finance for the city of Elmhurst, remarks on municipal and state budget issues that impact the city of Elmhurst at the July 9 Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee meeting at Elmhurst City Hall.[]

ELMHURST – With the state of Illinois establishing its 2019 operating budget as of June 4, the city of Elmhurst is responding within the preparations for its 2019 budget.

The Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee discussed the state budget's impact on the city at its July 9 meeting at Elmhurst City Hall.

Tom Trosien, the city's director of finance, presented the committee with an update on the state's budget as it relates to municipalities.

As one of Illinois' adjustments to its budget, the state had withheld 10 percent of the income tax in its 2018 fiscal year that was to go to the local government distributive fund, from which municipalities draw funding. For the 2019 state budget, the state has lowered the reduction from 10 percent to 5 percent. It also has reduced the sales tax administrative fee from 2 percent to 1.5 percent.

"If you recall, they communicated to everybody last year it was a one-time thing. We had our suspicions and we were cautious, and it didn't hold up, but at least they reduced it to 5 percent," Trosien said.

That means, roughly, that Elmhurst did not receive $440,000 from the state, and now it also will not have $220,000. Half of that $220,000 will be taken out during the period of July to December 2018, and the other half will be taken out during the period of January to June 2019.

Trosien said it is not clear what will happen after June 2019.

Mayor Steve Morley said addressing the budget issues was one of the top issues for the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference's legislative committee.

"This is always top of mind," Morley said.

He said the conference coordinated with other groups such as the Illinois Municipal League and the Western Municipal Conference in trying to lessen the state's reduction from the fund.

"I would say that the majority of the people feel that this was a win for this year's legislative group to reduce it to 5 percent... It's not great, but with how screwed up Illinois is, this was a pretty big win for all the cogs to do what we did," Morley said.

Trosien said the city's budget will be "OK," and the city plans to start reviewing the revenue with the committee within the next two committee meetings in preparation for the city's 2019 budget.

Illinois also has been able to start collecting taxes from remote sellers that have 200 or more annual transactions or $100,000 in annual gross receipts following the Supreme Court's ruling June 21 in the South Dakota v. Wayfair case, according to an Illinois Municipal League fact sheet.

Trosien "conservatively" estimated that income might add about $125,000 annually for the city of Elmhurst.

The next meeting for the committee is scheduled for July 23.

Alderman Mike Brennan was absent from the meeting.