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Local News

County to study fees

GENEVA – Fees paid to the county could change as officials work to maintain a flat property tax levy.

The Finance/Budget Committee on Wednesday endorsed Executive Finance Director Joe Onzick's request to issue a request for proposals for a fee study.

Onzick said the study is being prompted by financial expectations over the next five years: increasing payroll and benefit expenditures and flat revenues.

Fee increases could help keep the property tax levy flat, he said.

County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen – who campaigned on pledges to freeze the county’s property tax levy – said it's concerning that, while some revenue streams are increasing, others are declining in big enough numbers to neutralize the gains.

Committee Chairman John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles, said the county periodically reviews its fees. Ultimately, he said, any decision to make adjustments will lie with the County Board.

Board member Doug Scheflow, R-Elgin, asked which fees will be studied.

Onzick said he plans to reach out to all of the department heads and elected officials to compile a list of fees. He also will learn what contributes to each fee, such as state statutes, he said.

The committee also supported Onzick's proposed process for submission of requests for major capital building projects.

The process involves input from standing committees, the Judicial/Public Safety Strategic Planning and Technology Commission, facilities management and the finance department before going to the County Board for approval.

"Conceptually, I think this outline makes sense," Hoscheit said.

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