It’s official. Naperville has approved a first-time ever municipal sales tax of one-half percent beginning January 1, 2016. It’s purpose is to fill the financial hole created by city officials, and build reserves. For those who didn’t want another tax, and those who wanted 1/4% or 1%, the game is over. It’s 1/2%.
At the same time, city officials increased the charge for trash pick-up from $2 per month, to $12.35, an increase of 617%. City officials claim the increase simply covers the actual cost the service. In other words, the inability of the City to negotiate a better deal, gets passed on to residents. Where is the incentive for city officials to negotiate on behalf of residents, if they know they can simply extract money from The First National Bank of Residents. Perhaps they need to read Donald Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal”.
The refuse fee increase takes more out of the average household in a year, $124.50 to be exact, than the municipal sales tax.. At a 1/2% sales tax, a household would have to spend $24,840 in Naperville to equal $124.50. I don’t know about you, but I don’t spend $480 per week in Naperville.
And now Naperville city officials are positioned to hit residents with a huge increase in electric rates. If this was a fight, the Naperville city council would hit residents with a jab (trash fee increase), then a left hook, (municipal sales tax) finishing up with an upper cut, and a sucker-punch to the back of the head (sky rocketing electric rates). At a time when residents need a break, city officials are inflicting ‘the perfect storm’ on residents, aka potential voters.
City officials including city manager Doug Krieger, and council members Judy Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong, and John Krummen (smart meter advocate) are in the unenviable position of trying to explain or justify why the promised savings to residents on electric rates is non-existent. Wasn’t that the ‘promised’ selling point to forcefully installing smart meters on homes of residents who didn’t want them. How many times did Krummen get up in front of the council to bang the drums, blow the horn, and carry the smart meter flag for the virtues of smart meters. Where is the savings?
City officials were high-fiving, glad-handing, and back slapping their victory over residents with a sales tax, and trash fee increase. It might not be so easy sucker-punching residents with an electric rate increase.
Since the average citizen apparently pays no attention to politics and who they elect they will now pay through the nose for what they already pay for under city services. The garbage collection fee should be zero as should permits. They keep breaking out these necessary functions and then gouge the tax payer twice for them instead of cutting unnecessary costs in bureaucrats and programs. The issue isn’t negotiation although no doubt a better deal could have been attained but rather scamming the citizens with these phony side bars instead of attacking the cost revenue problem head-on. These tax and spend people will continue to drive businesses and people out of our city and state. Dumb is as dumb does.
This has taken the wind out of my sails. Cannot believe what this council will stoop to, to benefit their inept performance of lacking in leadership to herald this town in moving forward with a firm grip on maintaining the type of control that will assist in prospering without incurring further debt and having to place themselves in a position of careless control and great fault in professional showmanship. This is a disgrace and to overcome their guilt in letting the “party favors” go on and on and never shutting out the lights and music to a band that plays the sour notes on a continuous panel of musicians that were never in harmony and never should have been voted in. The mention of living in Naperville to family and friends brings downcast eyes and downward head tilt as seeing Naperville demonstrate shameful acclaim. Judy
Smart meters, continual electric and water increases, new sales tax, and massive garbage fee increase…..Can’t wait to escape this totally mismanaged town.
First the city did a great job negotiating refuse costs, the lowest cost per resident of any neighboring city is just over $20 a month. The fact that the cost for refuse collection has been subsided by the city’s general fund in the past does not make it exempt from change. Refuse collection costs has always be paid for by residents through their property tax bill city levy from the general fund. People keep saying they want a more transparent government. Burying this cost in the Budget makes it nearly impossible for a resident to know what refuse collection is costing them unless they have hours to spend going through the city budget. Placing this cost on the utility bill makes city government more transparent and easier for residents to see exactly how their elected officials are spending city funds. By moving this budget item out of the general fund and into the utility fund it also makes it clear how much this city service is costing each resident. When the city officials talk about the budget being X amount of dollars they are talking about those costs not specifically funding by fees, which utilities are. Placing refuse collection costs in the utility fund removes it from the “budget” discussion and lowers this “budget” by $5 million. It does not mean the city suddenly has and extra $5 million to “play” with.
If the city’s revenue is now increased by 5 million by the charging what was previously not charged be it a tax, service charge, permit fee, license fee, utility fee/charge. It definitely means they have more money to spend. That’s the problem. WE ARE TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY! Money is fungible and like water flows to the city fund’s holes which never ever get filled.
Again you have failed to follow how the budgeting and funds expenditure works. If you look at the city “budget” the first thing you should notice is that Naperville has $425 million in expense with a $120 million dollar budget. How is this possible? Because roughly $300 million in expenses are for utilities that are funded by user fees. The refuse fee does not go into effect until January 2016 and the present budget ends December 31 2015. So there is no revenue or taxes projected or collected at present for 2016, this means not tax levy has been set. When the new budget process starts the refuse fee will be part of the utility fund budget, which is fee based and these fund are earmarked so they can only be spent on the designated utility. This means roughly $5 million in expenses from the general fund will have been removed, reducing the “budget” by this amount meaning a lower tax levy will be required to fund the “budget”. If the city were not to lower this levy, then yes they would have and extra $5 million to work with but that has not happen and to claim it has is to mislead reader.
This all is happening under the leadership that the “watchdog” glowingly endorsed. It’s going so well isn’t it? Funny how the city has stopped posting the financial status of the Electric Utility. So what’s up with the Mayor’s golf outing charity fund? Anyone find out where the complete check register is for that?