Riverside village trustees voted unanimously last month to approve its 2006 budget and 2005 tax levy.

The 2005 tax levy, which will fund portions of the 2006 budget will be roughly 5 percent above last year’s levy, although village officials contend that Riverside will receive less than that amount due to Illinois tax cap restrictions.

In Illinois non-home rule municipalities like Riverside can extend tax annual levies by a maximum of 5 percent or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the previous year, whichever is less. The 2004 CPI was 3.3 percent.

Riverside is asking for 5 percent in order to capture any additional tax revenue generated by new development in the village, which is taxed at its maximum rate for the first year it appears on the tax rolls. Afterwards, that development will be subject to tax caps.

According to information provided by the village, a taxpayer with a property valued at $500,000 (excluding exemptions and freezes) can expect to pay the Village of Riverside roughly $86 more in 2006 than in 2005. In other words, the increase in taxes to the average taxpayer to the Village of Riverside will be 2.6 percent.

At the same meeting in which trustees passed the tax levy, they also passed the village’s 2006 operating budget, which calls for $14.8 million in total expenditures for the village, plus $863,300 for the Riverside Public Library.

The budget as passed indicates that expenditures in the village’s general operating fund, which pays for day-to-day expenses such as salaries, will exceed revenues by $133,500.

Key expenditures in the 2006 budget include $775,450 in street improvements, $200,000 for remodeling Fire Station No. 2 on Pine Avenue, $75,000 for improvements to the police station facade, $933,000 in ongoing water/sewer infrastructure improvements and $80,000 in parking lot repaving projects.

In addition, the village has set aside $35,000 to help implement recommendations in the as-yet-unfinished Transit-Oriented Development study, which may include investigating the possibility of creating a TIF district for the downtown business area. The budget also includes earmarking $10,000 to hire a consultant to help the village begin investigating the possibility of a tax referendum campaign to bolster the general operating fund within the next two years.