Shuttered Best Buy Puts Illinois Town $200K Deeper Into Debt

The impact of Best Buy’s years of over-expansion of its bricks-and-mortar stores and increasing competition from online retailers is being felt all over the country as the electronics chain closes dozens of stores. And for one town in Illinois, the loss of its local Best Buy translates into a $200,000 budget shortfall.

Until it closed a few weeks ago, the Best Buy store in the village of West Dundee had been the largest single source of tax revenue.

So to make up for the shortfall, village officials have cut hours for some part-time firefighters, which means that only one of the two fire stations in town will only actually be able to offer fire engine service.

“I never like to reduce manpower, but I also understand the reality of the economic times,” the village’s fire chief tells “It was very difficult to do this, but we’ll make it work, one way or the other.”

Another $30,000 was saved by reducing hours for part-time and seasonal workers in the village’s public works department.

The loss of the Best Buy tax money also means village employees will be switching to a less-expensive health insurance provider, there will be one fewer village board meeting each month and the police department loses a community service officer.

Meanwhile, Best Buy’s interim CEO stands to make upwards of $3.3 million this year, which includes $2.2 million in “performance bonuses” that are not actually tied to how well or poorly the company performs this year.

On a Consumerist-related note, this Best Buy just happens to be the store where Executive Editor Meg Marco purchased her first computer.

Best Buy closure forces West Dundee to consider $200,000 in cuts []

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.