Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

Elgin trustees gave unanimous approval to a $259 million budget this week that increases taxes on gasoline and hotel stays, raises ambulance fees, and cuts staffing at the fire department.

The plan doubles the hotel/motel tax to 8 percent and adds a four-cents per gallon fuel tax at Elgin gas stations. It also increases water and sewer rates by 7 and 8 percent respectively. The city sales tax will increase from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent. The average Elgin household will see a bump in property taxes to fund police and fire pensions, as well as for bond payments.

Staffing changes at the fire department would reduce overtime by reducing the number of firefighter/paramedics on shift at any one time, saving $1 million annually, city officials said. Increasing ambulance fees — charged only to non-residents — is expected add an additional $1 million in revenue.

The biggest financial change for Elgin may be the reduction in money collected from the Grand Victoria Casino, said Council Member John Steffen. “That was 23 years of revenue we were able to invest in the community. That is coming to an end.”

When the riverboat money began rolling in in 1994, it helped Elgin pull out of an economic depression the city had experienced.

While the board also voted to end its agreement with the Elgin Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, that organization will be renegotiating its agreement with the city in coming months.

The budget had originally called for discontinuing its funding of the agency, which markets Elgin to visitors. However, after learning the city would also then lose matching state funding, the move was made to instead doubling the hotel/motel tax.