YORKVILLE – The Kendall County Board is facing a $4.2 million budget deficit that officials are planning to erase before approval of the fiscal 2024 spending plan.
Now the proposed budget includes general fund expenditures of $31.4 million, up 9.5% from this year’s $28.7 million.
County Board members are expected to approve the final budget document at their Nov. 7 meeting. The budget year starts Dec. 1.
Before that, the board plans to cut some of the spending requests from department heads and elected officials in order to balance the budget.
Board Finance Committee Chairman Scott Gengler said some tough decisions will need to be made. “We should be able to get there I think,” Gengler said. “We have to be responsible getting to that point.”
The cause of the current budget deficit is simple. Revenues are expected to dip while expenses are rising.
The proposed budget forecasts total revenues at $27.1 million, a decrease of nearly 4%, or $1.1 million, from the current year’s total.
Gengler said a projected drop in sales tax revenue is one of the reasons, with the county’s total tax revenue, including property and state income tax, expected to be $21.6 million, down $1.5 million from the current budget.
Meanwhile, the county is looking at increased expenses, some unavoidable and others resulting requests from county offices and departments for additional employees.
Health insurance costs will rise 14%, from the current $3.5 million to slightly more than $4 million.
New salaried positions for the circuit clerk, public defender and state’s attorney’s offices, along with the technology and human resources departments, total more than $388,000.
There are also planned raises for some current employees of from 2 to 5%.
Furthermore, the county funded the creation of nine employee positions with federal American Rescue Act money during the COViD-19 pandemic, but that revenue will now be lost, leaving the county with a $547,500 gap to fill.