ELBURN – The Village of Elburn will again ask residents on April 2 to vote on an up to 1 percent increase on sales tax charged for merchandise sold within the village. The tax increase would not be applied to groceries, drugs or medical equipment, or sales of property with titles, such as cars or boats.
Elburn’s current tax rate is 7 percent, which Elburn residents narrowly opposed raising in a March 2016 referendum. Unofficial results put the opposing votes at 701 and the supporting votes at 683.
Trustees at the end of 2018 voted to go back to the voters about a sales tax increase following a discussion about other sources of revenue.
“We need to look for additional sources of revenue so we can continue to provide quality services,” said Trustee Ken Anderson at the time. “We want to continue to develop Elburn in the right way.”
“I think it’s a fair way to collect taxes," trustee Sue Filek said. “It seems to be easier for people to digest than property taxes.”
Village President Jeff Walter said on March 25 that when village staff recently crunched the numbers, they determined that with Elburn’s current business revenue, the additional tax received from a 1 percent increase would be about $450,000 that could be added to the general fund.
“That would get a lot of road work and park work done,” he said.
Village officials recently discussed the need for road repair, and decided to work with an engineering firm to survey and rate them all to assist in prioritizing the most critical needs, Walter said.
“It (the increase in revenues) would give us a lot more roads fixed a lot quicker,” he said.
In addition, Walter said the village would like to survey other village infrastructure, such as sanitary sewers and water mains, to determine which might need to be replaced.
“There’s a lot more that we could get done,” he said. “It would be a big help to the village if it would get passed.”
He added that the increase would put Elburn in line with other neighboring towns, explaining that Elburn has one of the lowest sales tax rates in the surrounding area.
Elburn’s tax rate of 7 percent is lower than the 8 percent of many municipalities in the surrounding area, including St. Charles, Batavia, Geneva, Sugar Grove and Maple Park, according to Avalara.com.
“This would put us on a level playing field,” Walter said.