Naperville Public Library’s proposed 2023 budget calls for a 4.25% increase in property taxes — about $650,000 more than collected this year.
The Naperville Library Board will review the $16.8 million spending plan, which calls for a $510,293 increase in spending over last year, at its 7 pm Wednesday meeting at the downtown Nichols Library.
Because the board is a city advisory body, the budget and property tax levy it recommends goes to the Naperville City Council for final approval.
In the 2023 budget report, library executive director Dave Della Terza said the tentative budget aims to provide essential services at the level the community expects while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
Money from property taxes accounts for 95% of the library’s revenue. What’s being requested is up from the $15.3 million collected in 2022.
Because home values are projected to increase by 3%, the library tax rate would increase slightly, Della Terza said in the report.
He added that this is the first tax rate increase the library has requested in eight years. Until this year, the rate has decreased annually since 2015.
The library takes in about $225,000 from library operations, such as room rentals, printing and copying, lost item fees, nonresident fees and book sales, according to the budget.
It also will receive $287,100 from personal property tax relief and $220,572 in per capita grants.
Overall expenses are projected to increase from $16.3 million in 2022 to $16.8 million in 2023.
Although 69% of the library’s operating expenses are dedicated to salaries and benefits, salaries are rising and benefits are falling for a net gain of $70,344 in 2023.
The library is budgeting 4% merit raises for staff as well as a market adjustment to remain competitive and get all positions over or close to the upcoming $15 minimum wage requirement.
Della Terza said after this year, the lowest paid position will be at $14.68 per hour. One more adjustment will be needed in 2024 to complete this process, he said.
Benefit costs are projected to decrease $246,674 to $2.5 million due to decreases in retirement contributions and the cost of medical and dental insurance, Della Terza said.
Although the price of medical insurance is increasing per person, the library has fewer staff opting to take medical benefits from 2022 to 2023, he said.
The materials budget will climb $195,750, from $3.2 million to $3.4 million, to purchase the books, movies and music customers are requesting.
Della Terza said the budget has remained flat the past two years due to shipping and release schedule delays. Those delays are no longer occurring.
Other spending in 2023 involves technology and facility upgrades.
Technology projects include replacing a third of library computers, providing a new badge system and improving the network cybersecurity.
Facility work will include improvements to the Naper Boulevard branch and replacement of some furniture.
Della Terza said when the budget is presented to the council, it will include a request for an additional $650,000 to cover the cost of renovating the Naper Boulevard Library’s restrooms and staff work rooms.
Because the $650,000 is not part of the library’s operating fund, it will be considered under the city’s overall capital projects budget.