What does the Village of Montgomery have in common with the state and federal government?
The state and federal budgets have both been in the news recently. The Village of Montgomery is required to approve a budget annually, just like the state and federal government. The budget process for the Village of Montgomery involves the citizens, the Village President and Village Board, Village Administrator, department heads, supervisors and many others throughout the organization. Each person plays a critical role in the development of the budget for the upcoming year. Department heads are responsible for evaluating the needs of their departments and divisions, soliciting input from supervisors and staff, and compiling those needs and priorities into a cohesive and straightforward budget request. The Village Board is critical in evaluating the budget, asking questions, and eventually approving the budget. Residents and their needs are, of course, the driving force behind the budget process. One such priority is the traffic signal that will be installed at Concord and Galena Road this summer. Residents expressed a need for a traffic signal to alleviate local traffic issues, the need was documented by a traffic study, and then funding for the signal was provided in the current year budget so the installation could be completed.
Q: Where does the village’s revenue come from?
A: The desire of the Village of Montgomery is to maintain a broad-based, well-diversified, and stable portfolio of revenues. These revenues include state and local sales tax; water and sewer revenue; state income tax; and property taxes. Less than 5 percent of the total property taxes residents pay goes to the Village - roughly $325 out of a tax bill totaling $7,000; while the rest goes to schools, fire districts, and other taxing bodies. The village receives annual revenue of approximately $30 million. The village has a responsibility to its citizens to carefully account for public funds, to manage municipal finances wisely, and to plan for the funding of services and facilities required by the public.
Q: How can I know where my tax dollars are being spent?
A: Staff begins preparing the next year’s budget in August, nearly nine months prior to adoption of the budget. In mid-December, each operating department is responsible for submitting budget requests to meet village needs as determined by the Village Board. These requests may include personnel, programming, and capital projects throughout the community. Requests are then evaluated and prioritized based on need and available funding. The Village Board and staff conduct a series of budget meetings beginning in February and ending in March; to which residents are invited and encouraged to attend or view the meetings online.
The budget represents the culmination of efforts by the Village President, Board of Trustees and staff to present a plan honoring our commitment to our residents to maintain financial strength, fiscal responsibility and plan for long-term sustainability of the village. The proposed budget for May 2019 through April 2020 will be available on the village website or at Village Hall beginning March 1. The Public Hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 25. I encourage the public to engage in the process, to attend meetings and review the document online.
*Matt Brolley is Montgomery village president