Certified Annual Reports

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Certified Annual Reports: Oak Park & Evanston

Oak Park, Illinois net position for 2017 decreased by $1,487,759 and increased by $9,267,287 in 2019. City of Evanston's 2019 net position increased by $24,108,172 from FY 2018 and revenues from governmental activities increased by $6,359,434 or 4.7% from FY 2018.

Oak Park Annual 2017 Report

Net Position

  • The total net position of Oak Park in 2017 fell by $1,487,759 or 39.4% from the starting balance of $3,778,536 in the fiscal year to the ending balance of $2,290,777 because of a combined increase in liabilities greater than the increase in assets.
  • The governmental activities net position decreased by 6.9% or $5,535,474 to $85,856,030 due to increased in liabilities compared to assets.
  • According to the 2017 annual report, the business-type activities net position increased by 4.8% or $4,047,715 to $88,146,807 mainly from an increase in capital assets.

Other Activities

  • Revenues from governmental activities amounted to $81,947,225 a 7.2% or $5,510,354 increase from 2016.
  • Government activity expenditures totaled $88,405,539 which is a decrease of $4,360,122 from the 2016 FY amount of $92,765,661 predominantly related to a decrease in government and public safety spending.
  • Property taxes generated 54.5% or $44,694,826 of Oak Park's revenue stream. Other taxes of $20,870,690 are attributed to the utility, sales, state income and real estate transfer taxes realizing an increase of $145,783 from the 2016 FY.

Oak Park Annual 2019 Report

Net Position

  • The total net position of Oak Park in 2019 increased by $9,267,287 or 184% from the starting balance of $5,019,546 in the fiscal year to the ending balance of $14,286,833 primarily due to an increase of capitalized assets.
  • The governmental activities net position increased by 4.3% or $3,777,730 to $83,566,186 as liabilities decreased to a greater extent than the decrease in assets.
  • According to the 2019 annual report, the business-type activities net position increased by 5.9% or $5,489,557 to $97,853,019 mainly from an increase in capital assets.

Other Activities

  • Revenues from governmental activities amounted to $89,587,540, a decrease of $762,563 from 2018.
  • Government activity expenditures totaled $86,246,810 which is a decrease of $710,720 from the 2018 FY amount of $86,957,530, "predominately related to increases in economic and community development expenditures and partially offset by lower highway and public safety expenditures."
  • Property taxes generated 55.1% or $49,347,556 of Oak Park's revenue stream. Other taxes of $20,107,103 are attributed to the utility, sales, state income and real estate transfer taxes realizing a decrease of $1,959,654 from the 2018 FY.

Evanston 2019 Annual Report

Net Position

  • City of Evanston's net position increased by $24,108,172 from the prior fiscal year.
  • The governmental activities net position increased by $21,078,962 or 15.8% from 2018.
  • Business-type activities net position increased by $3,030,711 or 1.0% from 2018.

Other Activities

  • Revenues from governmental activities increased by $6,359,434 or 4.7% from FY 2018. The increase was due to an increase in capital grants and contributions.
  • Government activity expenditures "decreased by $25,402,837 or 16.4% principally due to a decrease in public safety-related expenses."
  • "The total cost of all city programs decreased by $25,224,678 or 13.4%. This decrease was mainly attributable to a decrease in public safety-related expenses." Total assets of the City increased by $42,881,437 primarily due to an increase in capital assets; while total liabilities went up by $51,144,531 due to bond issuance.
  • The business-type activities revenue increased by $6,373,802 or 16.4% mainly because of an increase in service rates. Expenses rose from FY 2018 by $178,159 or 0.5%.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Oak Park Business Attractions

There were no studies or reports found that specifically justify the top things that attract businesses to come to Oak Park, Illinois. Based on a general analysis of the top areas in Illinois on where to set up a business, some of the leading villages that were included in the list have high median annual household income figures, have lower median monthly housing costs, have low unemployment rates, and provide support to the businesses in the form of training, networking, and other means. The rest of the helpful findings found on the key aspects that could attract businesses to locations such as Oak Part are outlined below.

Oak Park Economy

  • The economic health of a local government unit is usually gauged through their "local employment levels, family income levels, construction activity, and retail sales." Based on this, Oak Park was considered as strong as it has earned favorable assessments in these key measures.
  • The latest figures on Oak Park's unemployment rate was 3%. This is lower than the 3.6% for Cook County and 3.6% for the whole state of Illinois.
  • In terms of the average household income, the average income in the village is around $82,826. This is much higher than the median income in Cook County ($66,712) and the State of Illinois ($70,967).
  • The property tax revenue of Oak Park was obtained from the residential, commercial, and industrial properties in the village. It is based on Oak Park’s annual tax levy. The value is highly stable compared to Cook County. Cook County automatically charges an additional 3% to the Village’s general levy to compensate for delinquent taxpayers and future appeals.
  • On top of its big and diverse residential spaces, Oak Park hosts commercial districts and is deemed a hub for independently-owned dining and entertainment establishments. For those who want a peaceful suburban lifestyle while also residing within walking distance or a quick drive to Chicago, Oak Park can meet these needs.
  • The village is also planning to make its business districts more vibrant to make it more enticing for business owners.
  • Oak Park also has multiple grant programs that it give to those businesses or property owners who can meet the eligibility criteria that were indicated for each grant.
  • One of these is the facade improvement grant program that provides up to $35,000 in matching funds to help the owners improve the character of their property.
  • According to an owner of a business in Oak Park, she chose to establish her business in the village as there is a residential area nearby where her family can reside.
  • Another Oak Park business owner mentioned that the presence of facilities such as schools and parks made him establish his business there.

General Insights on How Businesses Select Locations

  • Based on a general corporate survey, the following are the factors that will make them choose certain locations: availability of skilled labor (90.5%); labor costs (89.1%); highway accessibility (87.2%); corporate tax rate (86.7%); tax exemptions (83%); quality of life (82.8%); and state and local incentives (82.5%).
  • According to Enterprise League, the following are some of the key factors that businesses consider when deciding to select a location: nearness to the target market, rent price, demographics, infrastructure, and distribution network.
  • Based on an analysis from a review site, people seem to prefer the suburbs or small community areas in Chicago when establishing a business.
  • Based on their analysis of the top areas in Illinois on where to set up a business, the leading villages that were included in the list have high median annual household income figures, have lower median monthly housing costs, have low unemployment rates, and provide support to the businesses in the form of training, networking, and other means.

Research Strategy

To identify the top three things that attract businesses to come to Oak Park, Illinois, we looked through Oak Park's website, annual reports, press releases, and similar sources. Based on this search approach, we were not able to find any studies, economic development reports, or articles that list and rank the top three things or attractions that entice businesses to set up their operations in the area. What we found are some insights and statistics that describe the positive economic factors in the area. We also found some interview excerpts with small business owners that have established their businesses in Oak Park on what made them establish their business in this village.
We also looked through government and state websites to determine if there are lists or reports on the top considerations that entice businesses to set up their operations in Chicago municipalities or villages such as Oak Park. However, we did not find any comparative analysis of the specific aspects of each town in Chicago that make them attractive to business. What we found are general statistics, insights, and demographics of each village or municipality in the area.
We then looked for surveys, studies, economic development reports, or other comparative analysis in media publications, business and finance websites, review sites, and other related sources to determine if there are findings from these sites on the top places in Chicago or Illinois to set up a business. We then found some reviews and a survey from Nerdwallet on some of the top places to set up a business and the key attributes of these areas on why businesses prefer them. However, Oak Park was not mentioned. Only Oak Brook was included.
Given the lack of specific and solid findings to justify the top things or attractions that entice businesses to set up their operations in Oak Park, Illinois, we gathered the supporting helpful findings from our research effort above to present some of the key aspects that could attract businesses to a certain location such as Oak Park. We also provided some of the positive aspects of Oak Park that could have made businesses to decide to operate there. We also presented some interview excerpts from business owners in Oak Park on what made them decide to operate in the area.
Sources
Sources