Arlington Heights residents wouldn’t have to pay village government additional property taxes in 2022, but anyone who dined at a restaurant within the popular Arlington Alfresco downtown area could get an extra tax tacked onto their bills.
Those are among the financing proposals within the village’s proposed $191.4 million budget, which the village board began reviewing this week.
Officials say the additional food and beverage tax at downtown restaurants would help the village recoup its costs to set up, maintain and take down the annual summer outdoor dining area on Vail Avenue and Campbell Street.
The village’s finance department staff has proposed an additional 0.5% or 0.75% tax on top of the current 1.25% village food and beverage tax. It would be charged year-round and would target downtown restaurants only. It’s estimated to generate the $90,000 needed to cover the village’s annual Alfresco expenses.
“To make it fair for the other restaurants in the village, it seems like those restaurants that are benefiting from (Alfresco) could pay an extra amount through an additional food and beverage tax,” Finance Director Tom Kuehne said Monday night during the opening night of budget discussions.
The exact amount of the possible tax increase isn’t set in stone. Officials are also looking into expanding parking options on private property lots, which would require financial incentives to the property owners, thereby increasing the Alfresco tax amount.
by signing up you agree to our terms of service
The village board is expected to talk about the proposal in detail next month.
But 2022 marks the third consecutive year officials are proposing no increase in the village property tax levy. It’s possible, they say, because of a quick economic recovery that increased two key revenue sources: sales and income taxes.
“Staff is always very aware of the property tax burden on our residents, and we’re always trying to keep the pressure down on the village’s portion of the property tax bill,” said Village Manager Randy Recklaus.
The village represents 12% of an average homeowner’s property tax bill, while schools encompass two-thirds.
The overall budget, which is $9.2 million lower than the 2021 spending plan, proposes a host of capital projects, including $11.5 million to resurface or rehab streets, $4.1 million to replace old water mains and $3.7 million for stormwater control projects.
Two projects are included for the Berkley Square subdivision: a new storm sewer that would divert floodwater to a proposed storage basin in Raven Park, and a new upsized storm sewer line in the southeast portion of the neighborhood.
Though not required by state mandate until 2024, village and police department officials say they’ll be in a position to start rolling out police body cameras in 2022, by entering into a five-year contract at $300,000 per year. But they’re looking for a sustainable funding source beyond 2023, amid a federal backlog of seizure fund revenues owed to the village.
The federal government has earmarked $6.78 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to Arlington Heights over two years, which is being split among water main and meter replacements ($2.5 million), police and fire vehicle purchases ($2.5 million), other village capital projects ($1.3 million), and Arlington Heights Park District capital projects ($500,000).
The village board will continue its budget review at 7 p.m. today with further examination of individual department budgets. A final meeting, if needed, would be held Nov. 16.
Final approval of the budget and levy is expected Dec. 6.