- Tax Rate: $1.1544 (2016) to $1.1371 per $100 assessed value (2017)
- RPD Taxes on $100,000 home: $379 (2017); About 7.6% of a Rockford resident’s total tax bill is attributed to the Rockford Park District.
- Two Main Revenue Streams: Property Taxes and Fees
District Realities - Financial
THE PARK DISTRICT HAS TWO MAIN REVENUE STREAMS: PROPERTY TAXES AND FEES
- In the past 4 years, Rockford Park District elected not to increase tax dollars for its operating budget, saving taxpayers $1.7 million.
- Fee revenue has declined drastically over the last 10 years. Facilities such as Magic Waters Waterpark and the District’s five golf courses are no longer revenue generators, due to changing demographics and recreation trends
- Since the decline of Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) in 2009, the Rockford Park District has lost nearly $1 billion in EAV
BUDGET REDUCTIONS OVER LAST FOUR YEARS
- $8.4 million in budget reductions to keep a balanced budget
- Since 2009, a 10% reduction has been made in full-time positions while adding more than 20 parks, playgrounds, parking areas, paths, or new recreational facilities including Alpine Hills Adventure Park, Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens, Mercyhealth Sportscore Two expansion, Olson Swedish Heritage Park, UW Health Sports Factory, and a food and beverage department
AGING INFRASTRUCTURE: THE PARK DISTRICT IS 109 YEARS OLD!
- Deferred maintenance needs total $12 million; only $3 million is available to address capital needs
- The Park District maintains 83 playgrounds (partner playgrounds included); 62 playgrounds are beyond their 15-year lifecycle
- Thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer, 2,000 ash trees need to be removed; cost to remove each tree is $350
SPORTS TOURISM IMPACT
Mercyhealth Sportscore Complexes and UW Health Sports Factory bring on average $20 million in annual economic impact to local hotels, restaurants, and other retail stores while generating additional sales tax revenue for our region.
Rockford Park District tournament facilities are subsidized due to operational expenses such as maintenance, parking, and security. Field and court rental fees must remain competitive within the tournament industry.
2018 Budget Background
This year, the District faced another $1 million deficit. Even during the recession, the District has been able to consistently provide outstanding park and recreational offerings to our community; however, with declining revenue both through fees and a declining tax base, along with population and demographic shifts, it is becoming more difficult to provide the same level of service without an increase in revenue or a decrease in our footprint.
The District is partnering with the City of Loves Park, the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, and Rockford Public Schools among others to standardize public sector spending. These governmental entities are reviewing joint purchasing, equipment sharing, and ways to align bids to save tax dollars.
Additional information ABOUT ROCKFORD PARK DISTRICT’S BUDGET
To work towards a balanced budget, the District has continued to seek non-tax revenue, further reduce expenses, increase donor support, and explore lease and sale of land or property. Below is a look at what was included in 2018 budget:
2018 Modification of Programs and Services
- Not operating Forest City Queen and Trolley Car 36 for 2018 season
- Closing Sand Park Pool for 2018 season and closing Harkins Aquatic Center two weeks earlier
- Reduction of one week of the free Music in the Park Summer Concert Series (8 weeks vs. 9 weeks)
- Elimination of indoor swimming lessons
- Elimination of one youth day camp called Tween Scene/Summer Blast
- Expanding hours of operation at Washington Park Community Center to invest in area youth
- Increased support for Rockford Park District Police
2018 Revenue Adjustments
- Video gaming at select locations
- Select pricing increases in programs and rental opportunities
- Increased Foundation support
2018 Expense Reductions
- Elimination of four open full-time positions by attrition and restructuring
- Elimination of event parking services for community partner events
- Elimination of support to Community Centers for ground maintenance, reduction in contractual mowing
- Savings from lower utility, gas, and health insurance costs