Forest Preserve District Approves 2024 Budget and 2023 Tax Levy
District holds the line on taxes for fourth consecutive year, amounts to 2% of tax bill
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Board of Commissioners recently unanimously approved the agency’s 2024 budget and annual appropriation ordinance. The $136.2 million budget is primarily funded by less than 2% of a DuPage County homeowner’s property taxes. A homeowner with a property assessed at $308,500 is estimated to pay on average only $115 annually to the District, supporting the operation of and improvements to the District’s 26,000 acres of land, 60 forest preserves, 600 acres of lakes, and 166 miles of trails.
Last month, the board approved a $51.3 million tax levy for 2023 to pay a portion of the District’s operational and capital needs. This is the fourth year in a row that the District has held the tax levy flat. The District was also able to save DuPage County taxpayers $403,000 by abating a portion of its debt services levy.
“The 2024 budget prioritizes core services, operational needs, and significant reinvestment in needed capital improvements,” said Andrew Brown, director of Finance and Administration. “Once again, staff was able to work within the Board of Commissioners’ guidelines to develop a fiscally sound budget that accommodates a number of master plan initiatives and provides for the continued delivery of top-notch recreation and nature-education services with no increase to property taxpayers,” Brown said.
Initiatives slated for funding in 2024 include the continued implementation of several master plan projects and investments in landfill infrastructure.
- Completion of the new Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn
- Continued improvements at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, including education-center master planning at the site and renovations to its gardens
- Installation of ADA-accessible family flush restrooms at Wood Dale Grove in Wood Dale, Pratt’s Wayne Woods in Wayne, Waterfall Glen in Darien, and Mallard Lake in Hanover Park
- Planning for green energy use and sustainability and for special recreation accommodations
- Renovations to the Danada House and Danada Model Farm in Wheaton
- Districtwide natural areas restoration projects, including the removal of invasive woody plants and the stabilization of the bluff at the 62-acre high-quality Butler Woods at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook
- Construction of a new underpass at York Road at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook
- Parking lot and trail improvements at Winfield Mounds in Winfield, Salt Creek Park in Addison, and Blackwell in Warrenville
Board President Daniel Hebreard expressed his enthusiasm for the District’s ability to increase operational funding while holding the line on taxes. “When we talk about responsible government, I think it’s pretty exciting that we’ve been able to meet the needs of the District for the past four years without increasing property taxes. However, with rising costs and capital reinvestment needs, it does get more difficult to balance the budget while still accomplishing our important mission to preserve, protect, and restore DuPage’s natural resources and connect our residents with nature,” he said.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 5.5 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, seven education centers, and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter and Facebook; X, formerly known as Twitter; Instagram; YouTube; and TikTok pages.
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