LA GRANGE – After a six-month-long budget process, the Village Board approved the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Operating and Capitol Improvements Budget at its Monday meeting.
Under the budget, the board also approved three ordinances, which include increasing the village's water rates, sewer rates and placing a 1 percent tax on food and beverage sales in the village.
"This is really a budget I support," Village President Tom Livingston said.
The water rate will increase by 7.5 percent for residents, which equals about a $65 increase per year, according to trustee David McCarty. He said for the sewer rates, the residents will see a 10 percent increase, which evens out to be about $15 more than last year.
The third ordinance calls for a 1 percent tax to be placed on food and beverages purchased in the village, raising the sales tax to 9.25 percent, according to McCarty.
"The food and beverage [tax] will primarily be paid by those who are not La Grange residents," trustee Mark Langan said. "I don't think the 1 percent will dissuade people from coming to enjoy [La Grange]."
Raising the tax was not taken lightly by the board, McCarty said, adding that he believed it was a fair and reasonable option.
"[The] bottom line is we cannot be blind to the expectations residents have of living in a thriving community and business district," trustee Jeff Nowak said.
The majority of trustees supported all three ordinances with the exception of trustee Jim Palermo who opposed both the water rate increase and the restaurant tax.
"We've never taken a frivolous approach to the budget in this town," trustee Langan said. "… this is a sound budget and I'm going to support it."
With five out of six trustees in favor, the village board voted to approve the 2014-2015 budget.
Residents can view the final budget online at www.villageoflagrange.com.