Compared to the entire Chicago region, the state of the economy in DuPage County is good, County Chairman Dan Cronin told the Naperville Chamber of Commerce.
But he cautioned that work remained to be done.
“We still have some problems,” he said.
Cronin spoke to 200 local business and government leaders at an annual lunch spotlighting DuPage County, sponsored by the Naperville Chamber.
He noted that while DuPage’s unemployment rate of 8.1 percent was better than the region’s 9.7 percent rate, there were also some signs of slippage in recent months that may indicate a trend in the wrong direction.
Cronin said, though, that in the midst of recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s, DuPage’s overall financial picture is positive.
Cronin referenced the county’s $434.4 million budget for fiscal year 2014, calling it a “maintenance” budget and said that it was $3.1 million less than last year’s budget.
Much of the savings were realized by a reduction in county employees from 2,270 to 2,220 during Cronin’s two-year tenure, he said.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
Cronin highlighted other aspects of the county’s finances, including:
An increase in the county’s sales tax receipts, projected to increase last year at 3 percent, only to grow at 4.5 percent.
A 30 percent increase in real estate transactions over the previous year, and the average price of homes increasing by 10 percent over the last two years.
Cronin also gave credit to the Illinois property tax cap, which since 1991 has limited property tax increases for non-home rule entities to 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index, whichever is lower. He said the tax cap has saved DuPage property taxpayers $1.1 billion over the last two decades.