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Local News

Joliet council gets budget, will review it later

JOLIET – A $281 million budget proposal was presented to the Joliet City Council on Tuesday with little discussion.

The council could begin meeting in workshop sessions next week to review details of the budget.

The timing of the budget workshop meetings was the only discussion as City Manager Jim Hock suggested that the first meetings be held on Nov. 10 and 16. Hock said he would check with individual council members to make sure they are available on those dates.

Hock provided the budget to council members without a presentation.

He noted that the council has the proposal a month earlier than in 2015.

Hock said the budget would be posted on the city’s website, cityofjoliet.info, on Wednesday morning.

The budget projects a $6.8 million deficit in the general fund, which covers most daily city operations.

The city in recent years has forecast deficits in the general fund but ended the year with surpluses as revenues surpassed budget estimates. The city, however, is currently forecasting a nearly $3.8 million deficit in the general fund for the end of 2016.

The proposal calls for $179 million in spending in the general fund in 2017.

The city budgeted for nearly $175 million in general fund spending this year, but currently expects to spend more than $177 million.

In the separate water and sewer fund, the city expects to spend nearly $52.7 million, up from $40.5 million budgeted for 2016. Actual spending in the water and sewer fund for 2016 is estimated to be $47.8 million.

The City Council in October approved a 7 percent increase in water and sewer rates that takes effect this month.

General fund revenues budgeted for 2017 include:

• Sales taxes of $46.7 million;

• $33.7 million in property taxes, which is about $333,000 more than 2016;

• $25.5 million in charges for services;

• Gaming taxes of $18.5 million, predicted to be unchanged from this year.

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