The Village of Oak Park | 123 Madison St.  Oak Park, IL 60302 |

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Budget focuses on affordability, key priorities

Dec. 15, 2022 - The municipal budget for 2023 was developed with a focus on community affordability while also ensuring the delivery of essential services and furthering the Village’s commitment to community safety, leading in racial equity, investing in a sustainable future and supporting vibrant, diverse neighborhoods. The budget was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees on December 5, 2022.

Recognizing the economic pressures community members are facing, Village officials opted to maintain a flat property tax rate for the next fiscal year, resulting in savings for taxpayers in the short and long term. Refuse hauling rates are also unchanged in 2023, and the Village plans to tap into federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay for several capital improvement projects rather than issuing additional debt that could lead to future tax levy increases.

The 2023 budget is comprised of dozens of separate funds totaling $183.9 million in expenditures, excluding interfund transfers. Each fund is dedicated to a particular type of outlay, typically defined under the Governmental Accounting Standards Boards or State of Illinois/local laws. Some examples of fund categories include debt service, insurance, pensions and capital improvements.

The largest of these funds — the $71.8 million General Revenue Fund — supports most day-to-day municipal operations that are critical to quality of life in the community, such as public works and public safety services like roadway maintenance and emergency responses.

Nearly two-thirds of all general fund allocations in 2023 will support the Police and Fire departments, which are staffed with highly trained individuals who are on call 24/7, 365 days a year to protect and save lives.

Another 10 percent of all 2023 General Fund dollars will go towards the Public Works Department, whose workers maintain 100 miles of Village-owned streets, 500 alleys, 18,000 parkway trees, 7,000 lighting fixtures, 104 miles of water mains, 110 miles of sewer mains, eight miles of bicycle lanes and some 4,000 public parking spaces.

Furthermore, additional funds are being devoted to operationalizing sustainability goals throughout the Village's departments. Projects are advancing the actions identified in Climate Ready Oak Park, including building energy efficiency and electrification, traffic safety planning and street improvements, permeable pavement and vegetation, drinking water conservation, and groundwater protection. Reducing building energy and reducing driving of gas cars are two key strategies for lowering community greenhouse gas emissions. Adding pollinator and native plants are key strategies for improving community biodiversity.

The budget includes funding for the development of the Village’s first comprehensive Racial Equity Action Plan that will center diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout Village operations.

When it comes to supporting vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, the budget includes funding to support a comprehensive Vision Zero Plan to address traffic and pedestrian safety throughout the community.

Helping offset any new expenditures in 2023 is a decrease in the Village’s required annual contribution into the Police and Firefighters’ Pension Funds of a combined $1.3 million. This unusual one-time reduction is primarily due to a change in actuarial assumptions. For future years, however, it is expected that there will be an increase in the annual contributions for the public safety pensions.

Municipal expenditures from the General Fund are supported by a number of sources including property taxes, sales taxes, user fees, utility taxes and real estate transfer taxes.

While property taxes will fund about 48 percent of General Fund expenditures in 2023, based on the most recent data available, only 9.8 percent of an Oak Park property owner’s tax bill goes toward funding Village municipal services. State-mandated Police and Fire pensions comprise another 5.9 percent of the local property tax bill.

Most municipal fees remain unchanged for 2023. Water rates will increase slightly to $10.40 per 1,000 gallons used, up from $10.30 in 2022. Sewer rates, which are also assessed based on water usage, are now $2.98 per 1,000 gallons of water used, up from $2.95. A portion of water and sewer fees help fund maintenance and improvements to the Village’s water and sewer infrastructure systems.

Some rates for public parking were also adjusted. Quarterly and 30-day use permits in the Avenue, Holley Court and Lake & Forest garages will increase by $25 on April 1, and free parking in Village-owned garages was adjusted from 90 minutes to 60 minutes with the start of the new year. Pay-by-plate parking fees in high demand parking areas are also up 25 cents per 15 minutes for the first three hours of parking and 75 cents for every 15 minutes beyond three hours. In addition, pay-by-plate enforcement has been extended to 8 p.m.

Information on the budget process and copies of the Fiscal Year 2023 and past year’s budgets are posted at

2023 adopted budget

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