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Population growth and record home sales allow Wilmette officials to rejoice in the village’s financial situation


“It is the most solid financial position the village has ever been in.”

Delivered with confidence and optimism, Wilmette Village Manager Mike Braiman’s statement capped a flowery budget outline presented to village council on October 12.

Braiman said the circumstances include vast reserves and a growing community which in 2021 hosted a record total of real estate transactions, which will exceed 700 and provide the village of Wilmette with around $ 1.8 million in taxes.

According to recently released data from the 2020 U.S. Census, Wilmette has a population of 28,170, an increase of about 4%, or 1,083 people, since the 2010 census.

The residents’ bump means more local spending and more state dollars to support Wilmette, said Braiman, who thanked residents for participating in the census.

“It’s an exciting time to be a village resident, business owner or employee,” Braiman told The Record on a follow-up call. “… We are truly able to mitigate the impact of our operations on our residents and taxpayers.

The village plans to offer a tax levy of 2.46 percent, which would be the smallest such increase in 24 years, according to budget documents. At this percentage, the average Wilmette family will pay approximately $ 50 more in property taxes to the village of Wilmette in 2022. The levy has been set at 3.97% for 2021.

Village officials are asking for a $ 40 – from $ 175 to $ 215 for the year – increase in residents’ stormwater service charges. The 23% hike is actually $ 77 less than the increase originally planned when the project was approved five years ago, Braiman said.

Estimates from Future Village show that stormwater charges remain the same in 2023 and climb to $ 230 in 2024.

No increases are planned for other residents’ charges, such as garbage, sewage, water and vehicle sticker, according to village documents.

According to Braiman, the additional taxes from the increased levies will support an increase of $ 400,000 in staff and $ 125,000 in services, such as snow removal, tree trimming and landscaping.

In 2021, Wilmette plans to add three full-time employees – a temporary police officer to guide succession planning, a temporary business inspector and a financial analyst – and a part-time employee (business intern), as well as convert a full time leaf blower and tree protection agent application code.

The village will also add contract snow removal services to supplement its in-house staff for “faster turnaround” across Wilmette.

Sales tax revenue in 2021 is another achievement for the village, with help from the state of Illinois, which now donates more than 2% of local digital retail sales to municipalities. Village documents show 2021 sales tax dollars increased 8% from pandemic-affected 2020, and the 2022 budget projects an 11% increase from 2021.

Income tax is also on the rise, bringing the village $ 3.5 million projected in 2021. A number of officials call it “unprecedented.”

For Wilmette’s financial situation, Braiman attributes strategies to Wilmette Village Council and village staff that built up reserves of funds from $ 2.6 million in 2009 to nearly $ 15 million at the start of the year. 2021.

One particular initiative he highlighted was the village’s decision to constantly over-contribute to pension commitments. Braiman said paying more recently would save the village $ 40 million over the next 20 years.

In 2022, the Village plans to use $ 500,000 from its reserves to contribute to its new pension plan. The contribution is part of the Village’s reserve withdrawal plan aimed at withdrawing funds from its coffers – $ 2.2 million in 2021 – in order to limit the burden on taxpayers. Braiman said the reserves will remain at or above 30% of the budget, in line with the Aaa bond rating.

In total, the circumstances create a shortfall of $ 10.37 million – $ 79.4 million in revenue versus $ 89.77 million in expenses – in the Village’s operating funds in 2022. This figure s’ explains, according to Braiman, by the $ 2.2 million in planned reserve spending and more than $ 8 million for the Neighborhood Storage Project which was “pre-borrowed” in 2021 to capture low interest rates.

The Village will spend this $ 8 million in 2022 as part of the $ 28.5 million for the major project. In total, Wilmette is forecasting $ 40.66 million in capital spending next year.

The overall budget, which includes pension and retirement contributions, debt service and more, contains $ 112.48 in expenses compared to $ 107.84 in income.

A budget overview will be presented again at the village council meeting on Tuesday October 26, followed by a potential workshop on November 2, the budget review on November 23 and the passing of the tax. land on December 7.

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