Oak Park is taking in $1.3 million less in revenue than it expected going into 2008. The major hit is the real estate transfer tax, which is $816,000, or 39 percent, lower than predicted.

To make up for that shortfall, Manager Tom Barwin is asking heads of the roughly 14 different departments at village hall to slice their expenses. Rather than further raising taxes on an overspent population, department heads must slice up to 10 percent from what they spend.

Leaders at village hall must figure out how the cuts will affect daily operations. The village board will decide on the cuts in September.

It’s too early to say where those cuts will occur, Craig Lesner, chief financial officer for the village, said Monday. The village is meeting with local labor unions to see if they have any ideas. Some cuts will likely come out of funding for the village’s “partner agencies,” such as the Oak Park Area Regional Housing Center, the Oak Park Development Corporation, and the Oak Park Area Arts Council, Lesner said. About $1 million of the village’s budget goes to partner agencies.

Also, with 80 percent of the tax pie going to the 450 employees on staff, some cuts will need to be made to jobs, he said. Programs at village hall will also be cut.

Unpaid furlough days is a possibility for village staff members, Lesner said. In a press release, Barwin said it will require “major surgery” to maintain important public services.

“I don’t think there’s anything not on the table,” Lesner said.

-Marty Stempniak

Join the discussion on social media!