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DESIRED OUTCOME: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC

% of Tax Bill (Property Tax Revenue)

The percent of property tax revenue collected in the current year by the park agency compared to other, overlapping, jurisdictions such as county, village, township, library, school districts, community colleges, and other special districts.

Graph 1 (Average)
Over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percent of property tax revenue collected in the current year by the park agency compared to other, overlapping, jurisdictions such as county, village, township, library, school districts, community colleges, and other special districts, is as low as 4.70% in Oak Lawn and as high as 17.81% in Evanston.  The average over this five year period for our eight member cohort is 8.41%.  This measure is an indicator of reliance upon property tax revenues as opposed to earned income income revenues which is explored as well in this benchmarking initiative.

 

Graph 2 (Series)
This graph shows over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percentage change per year for each of our eight agencies.  This annual percentage change is small and stable. This stability is expected given the fact that property tax mill levies don't vary much from year to year, except in the case of new mills added to service new debt, and likewise, mills are removed when an existing debt is retired.  

 

Graph 3 (Trend)
This graph shows a smoothed linear trend line for the five year period of 2015 - 2019.  The trend line is upward sloping and it begins at approximately 8.2% in 2015 and moves forward to 8.65% in 2019.  It is noted that when the participating agencies are individually selected, the slope line can move considerably away from the cohort average slope line. For instance Downers Grove, Evanston, Hoffman Estates, Oak Park and Rolling Meadows are either flat or downward sloping;  while  Wheaton, Oak Lawn and Normal are upward sloping, similar to the cohort average. 

DESIRED OUTCOME: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC

% of Tax Bill (Subsidized Revenue)

The percent of subsidized revenue (i.e. property taxes, sales tax, use tax, etc.) that a park agency receives compared to other jurisdictions such as county, village, township, library, school districts, community colleges, and other special districts.

Graph 1 (Average)

Over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percent of subsidized revenue (i.e. property taxes, sales tax, use tax, etc.) that a park agency receives compared to other jurisdictions such as county, village, township, library, school districts, community colleges, and other special districts is as low as 1.95% in Evanston and as high as 10.17% in Wheaton.  The average over this five year period for our 8 member cohort is 5.05%.  This measure is an indicator of reliance upon tax revenues as opposed to earned income income revenues which is explored as well in this benchmarking initiative.

 

Graph 2 (Series)
This graph shows over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percentage change per year for each of our eight agencies.  This annual % change is small and stable. This stability is expected given the fact that tax revenues and especially property tax mill levies don't vary much from year to year.  Tax revenues in addition to property tax mill levies are subject to State Government annual appropriations and enabling state statutes, both of which are stable and fluctuate little from year to year.   

 

Graph 3 (Trend)

This graph shows a smoothed linear trend line for the five year period of 2015 - 2019.  The trend line is upward sloping and it begins at approximately 4.9% in 2015 and moves forward to 5.2% in 2019.  It is noted that when the participating agencies are individually selected, the slope line can move considerably away from the cohort average slope line. For instance, while the districts of Wheaton, Oak Lawn and Rolling Meadows are upward sloping, similar to the cohort average, all the other districts are downward sloping.

DESIRED OUTCOME: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC

% of Earned Revenue

The percent of revenue collected by the park agency in the current year that is unsubsidized, such as program revenue, fees and charges, sponsorships and donations, intergovernmental revenue, grants, personal rental income, and other miscellaneous revenue (including non-resident fees, vending machine revenue, rebates, etc.) and other financing sources (EXCLUDING debt service proceeds and transfers).

Graph 1 (Average)

Over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percent of revenue collected by the park agency in the current year that is unsubsidized, such as program revenue, fees and charges, sponsorships and donations, intergovernmental revenue, grants, personal rental income, and other miscellaneous revenue (including non-resident fees, vending machine revenue, rebates, etc.) and other financing sources (EXCLUDING debt service proceeds and transfers), is as low as 24.08% in Wheaton and as high as 56.65% in Oak Lawn.  The average over this five year period for our 8 member cohort is 44.43%.  This measure is an indicator of reliance upon non-tax revenues as opposed to tax revenues which is explored in F2.

 

Graph 2 (Series)
This graph shows over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percentage change per year for each of our eight agencies.  This annual % change is small and stable, although slightly more than tax revenues % annual change.  Because the tax revenue annual % change is stable, this builds stability into the non-tax revenues (earned revenues) in as much as together these are 100% of revenues. In 2020 it is expected to see less stability in earned revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it's dampening impact upon recreation usage and therefore fewer fees and charges.   

 

Graph 3 (Trend)

This graph shows a smoothed linear trend line for the five year period of 2015 - 2019.  The trend line is upward sloping and it begins at approximately 43.5% in 2015 and moves forward to 45.5% in 2019.  It noted that the actual annual data points jump around considerably over this five year period and that makes it difficult to formulate a smoothed linear trend line.  This analysis should be re-run after there is additional years of data available and that will flatten out the annual jumps in data points. 

DESIRED OUTCOME: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC

Operating Budget per Household

The amount of operating budget (not including capital or debt service) divided by the total number of households in the community according to the recent Census.

Graph 1 (Average)

Over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the amount of operating budget (not including capital or debt service) per household is as low as $382.32 in Evanston and as high as $820.07 in Wheaton.  The average operating budget per household over this five year period for our 8 member cohort is $577.29.  This measure is a proxy indicator of the amount of service provided by the district.  It is also an indicator of the amount of revenues (property taxes and earned revenues) that will need to be collected in order to satisfy demand for service.

 

Graph 2 (Series)
This graph shows over the five year period of 2015 - 2019, the percentage change per year for each of our eight agencies.  This % change over the entire five year period is for the most part 10-15%. Additionally, there is a noticeable closeness to average that hasn't been seen in the other "F" indicators.  The annual 2%-3% increases are in line with the annual increases in CPI for the Chicago area.   

 

Graph 3 (Trend)

This graph shows a smoothed linear trend line for the five year period of 2015 - 2019.  The trend line is upward sloping and it begins at approximately $500 in 2015 and moves forward to $600 in 2019. That's an increase of 2% per year, which again is in line with the CPI. It is worth noting that when the participating agencies are individually selected, not all trend lines are upward sloping, two of the eight are downward sloping. 

DESIRED OUTCOME: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO THE PUBLIC

Addendum (Digging Deeper)

Graph 1 (% Earned Revenue vs % Property Tax Revenue)

This graph shows a comparison of % earned revenues versus % property tax revenue by agency over the five year period of 2015 - 2019.  It is noted that five of the eight agencies shows close to a 45%/55% split; two of the eight shows a 30%/70% split and one of the eight shows a 25%/75% split.  The % split is a policy decision on the part of the agency and speaks to its historic comfort level regarding reliance on property tax versus earned revenues and the public's desire to see those who use the service pay for the service.

 

Graph 2 (Earned Revenue per Household vs Property Tax Revenue per Household)

Using a stacked bar combined with a line graph, this composite F graph shows for each District the distribution of property tax revenue versus earned revenue per household, and intersects that stacked bar with a line graph of operating budget per household.  That key intersection shows the difference between what is being spent (operating budget) on direct service delivery and what is being collected (revenues) from the public by way of property taxes and user fees for services provided.  The greatest difference is $1,700/household for both Wheaton and Hoffman estates and the least difference is $0.0/household for both Evanston and Normal.   Financial responsibility is about having sufficient and balanced revenues to cover the cost of providing service, but at the same time, not collecting more than sufficient revenues.