District Funding

See how property taxes, the sale of bonds, grants, user fees and other forms of revenue support the Forest Preserve District’s mission of conservation, education and recreation. The District at all times strives to provide the best product possible to DuPage County citizens at the lowest possible cost.

Taxes and Other Funding


More than half the money to run the forest preserves comes from property taxes. Those property taxes make up only about 2% of the average homeowner’s bill, with the bulk coming from schools and other taxing entities. For the owner of a $300,000 home, that would amount to approximately $140. Because of its fiscally prudent approach, the district has lowered its property tax rate 12 of the last 18 years.

Tax Levy Rates 


The district also charges residents certain fees and permits for use of facilities and services. Those charges make up about 7 percent of the district’s overall revenues. For a fuller explanation and details of charges, visit Permits and Fees.

To report on its financial position and the results of its operations, the Forest Preserve District uses fund accounting, which demonstrates legal compliance and aids financial management by segregating transactions related to certain functions and activities. Funds are either governmental or proprietary. Governmental funds account for most of the District’s general activities, such as land acquisition, capital development, servicing of general bonded debt and general operations. Proprietary funds account for business-type activities and receive a significant portion of their funding from user fees.

Revenue Expenses 

Bonds and Referendums

The most recent voter-approved referendum passed in 2006, authorizing the sale of $68 million in bonds to acquire land, restore native habitats, and maintain and develop trails and other recreational facilities. Because federal tax regulations require that 85 percent of the funds from the sale of bonds be used within three years from the time of sale, the Board of Commissioners completed two bond sales. A sale in the amount of $34,770,000 was completed in January 2007, and a sale in the amount of $33,130,000 was completed in November 2008. This plan will allow the District to meet obligations while achieving a manageable balance among high-priority land acquisitions, habitat-improvement projects and the development of trails and recreational amenities. So far, funds from the 2006 referendum have contributed to the purchases of 360 acres at 14 locations.

In September 2009, Standard & Poor’s gave the District a AAA bond rating on a new debt refunding issuance and reaffirmed the District’s AAA rating on existing bonded debt. This was the third time the District was rated under Standard & Poor’s Financial Management Assessment, which is effectively a report card on the District’s financial-management personnel and practices. Under this assessment, the District has maintained its “strong” rating — the highest rating possible — which is defined by Standard & Poor’s as indicative of “practices that are strong, well embedded, and likely sustainable.” These high ratings were transferred into low interest rates as underwriters negotiated with investors on the bonds.

Annual Budget

The budget is the foundation of the Forest Preserve District’s annual financial planning and is a tool that staff uses to manage daily operations. Each budget year begins on July 1 and concludes on June 30 the following year. All District offices submit budget requests, which serve as a starting point for the development of the comprehensive document. Taking public comment into consideration, the Board of Commissioners reviews and revises the appropriation before its adoption. Though not a formal part of the appropriation ordinance, the board uses a 5-year projection of revenues and capital expenditures in its financial planning.

For additional information and annual budget reports, visit Office of Finance.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

The Forest Preserve District is required to publish a complete set of financial statements presented in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles and audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards by a firm of licensed certified public accountants.

For additional information and financial report documents, visit Office of Finance

Get Adobe Reader
©2016 Forest Preserve District of DuPage County