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Batavia aldermen approve minor changes in sales tax ordinance

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 10:29 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 2:55 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Aldermen at Monday’s Batavia City Council meeting voted 11-3 to make a few changes in its recently passed ordinance to increase the city’s home-rule sales tax.

They previously had voted to increase the city’s home-rule sales tax by a half cent to help generate more revenue for the city’s electric utility. The increase would have a sunset clause of three years, ending in 2017.

The Illinois Department of Revenue had recommended a few minor language changes in the ordinance. In addition, it told city officials it will not impose a sunset clause.

Aldermen will need to approve an ordinance changing the tax back to one half percent and direct that it be filed with the state in early 2017 for the change to take effect at that time.

Aldermen already have approved an option that would raise electric rates in 2014 and 2015 in combination with a half cent increase to the city’s home-rule sales tax. In addition, the option would apply different percentage increases to energy and demand for commercial and industrial customers. City staff had recommended the option.

Batavia Public Works Director Gary Holm told aldermen the option would provide sufficient revenues and maintain comparable electric rates with surrounding utilities.

Under the option, residents this year will see a 6.5 percent increase in their electric rates, plus a $4-a-month increase to the customer charge.

In 2015, residents also will see a 6.5 percent increase in their electric rates.

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