Yorkville officials considering special population to boost revenue – Shaw Local
Since state and federal funds are distributed to municipalities based on their population, it often makes financial sense for a local government to invest in the cost of a population count rather than waiting for the decennial census.
It’s not long since the 2020 census counted 21,533 people living in Yorkville, but the city’s continued dramatic growth may soon make it worthwhile for the city to conduct a special census as soon as possible.
“For every new resident counted through a special census, the city will receive more than $210 a year,” City Administrator Bart Olson wrote in a memo to Yorkville City Council.
Olson said income taxes, use taxes, fuel taxes, cannabis taxes and the like are state-shared revenues that are distributed to municipalities on a per capita basis.
“It may be worth it for the city to do a special census in the immediate future,” Olson said, explaining that many residential developments were taking place even as census enumerators conducted their counts between April and October 2020. .
“It’s possible that up to 700 new housing starts are in various stages of construction and not included in this population count,” Olson said. “Additionally, the city has built over 500 new homes since October 2020 and is on track for another strong year in 2022,” he said.
The increase in population leads Yorkville to the municipal holy grail of self-governing status. Municipalities with 25,000 or more residents gain additional powers and flexibility when they receive the self-governing designation. Currently, the Village of Oswego, with a population of 34,585, is the only municipality in Kendall County to have been granted local self-government status.
Olson offers the city’s plan for two special counts. He noted that it takes about a year before a special census is launched until the city begins to receive the additional revenue.
The first count should begin soon, Olson said, to tally residents resulting from new homes being built during and after the 2020 count and capture additional revenue.
The city could then conduct another special census when it is sure the population has passed the 25,000 threshold, Olson said, which should take place between the end of this year and the end of 2024.
Yorkville’s growth has been concentrated in new developments such as the Grande Reserve Subdivision.
“Fortunately, all of the city’s growth is contained within new subdivisions, allowing us to conduct partial special censuses at minimum cost and maximum benefit,” Olson said, adding that the city’s latest partial special census cost $135,000.
“Theoretically, with an average population per household of 2.6 to 2.8, the city has a one-year payback with only 350 to 400 new homes,” Olson said.