After weeks of deliberation Naperville City Council members voted unanimously to establish a half percent home rule sales tax excluding cars, groceries and drugs-to help decrease the city’s debt and increase its reserves.
The vote came after an ordinance was proposed by Councilman Kevin Coyne, who worked on a compromised plan that would install the half percent tax, but limit it to two years. It will also abate
$2 million dollars a year in property taxes and remove $180,000 from the city’s SECA fund.
“Everybody gave a little bit, we committed to a sunset provision which I think helped a lot of the people that were really concerned about the tax, going along with that it’s only going to be around for two years, and the real estate tax abatement allowed us to swallow some of the extra revenue. None of us like to implement taxes, so the fact that a good part of it is going to come back to the residents helped some of us move along,” said City Councilman Kevin Coyne.
But not all were happy with the outcome. President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nicki Anderson says that any tax, no matter the rate, is not pro-business and therefore not something the chamber can support.
“I would have liked them to explore other avenues and I don’t think they really took the time to do that. I think the council felt that there was urgency. But now, really our work begins as we track are they going to follow up with what they said they’re going to do,” said Nicki Anderson.
Mayor Chirico was on board with the new ordinance, calling it the best financial plan they could come up with.
“I think it’s going to work, were not going to get there as fast as I had hoped in terms of some of our goals, but we are going to get there and that’s the important part,” said Mayor of Naperville, Steve Chirico.
Council also voted to increase the monthly garbage fee for residents to $12.35 a month, which will be added onto their utility bill. This is expected to generate $5 million of the $6.8 million operating budget shortfall.
The sales tax will be implemented January 1 of 2016, and is expected to generate $8 million a year in revenue.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek Reports.
WANT TO STAY INFORMED?
Get daily news headline stories delivered right to your inbox!Sign Up Today!