PREVIEW: Stateline 1% Sales Tax Increases

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STATELINE (WIFR) – With the primary election less than a week away, here’s a breakdown on the tax increase issues that will be on Stateline ballots.

STEPHENSON COUNTY: Voters in Stephenson County will be deciding if they want to pay a little more while out shopping help improve their local schools. A county-wide 1% sales tax increase is on the ballot.

If approved, the Freeport School District expects to get an extra $1.5 million a year. School leaders say they would use it to pay down $20 million in bond debt. The Dakota School District would also receive about $400,000 a year. That would pay for roof and air conditioning repairs at its schools. Leaders in both districts say this is a good way to help schools without raising property taxes, but some business owners aren’t sold on the idea of a 9% sales tax.

“We’re projected to make about $1.5 million worth of sales tax so I can basically take one and a half million out of how much we tax in the property tax and only tax a million dollars instead of $2.5 million and that’s how the property owner gets the sales tax relief,” said Patrick McDermott, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Finance.

“Freeport is a smaller community and we just like to , you know, keep what business that we have right now in Freeport and not drive it away with an extra percent sales tax.”

You can learn more about this increase at a meeting on Thursday night at Lena Winslow Junior High. It will be held in the library and starts at 6:30 p.m.

LOVES PARK: The city of Loves Park wants to re-do 15 miles of roads if voters approve a 1% sales tax increase, raising the current sales tax from 7.25% to 8.25%. That increase should bring in a million dollars a year over the next 10 years. The extra cash will be used for a full reconstruction of Alpine Road, as well as repaving residential roads such as Bennett and Illinois Streets. If passed, shoppers would pay an extra penny on the dollar for things like clothes or fast food.

“We’ve found in other communities such as Cherry Valley, Machesney Park, and Rockford that between 33- 50% of the taxes brought in comes from out of town residents so let the out of town residents help pay for your taxes,” said Loves Park Roads Committee Chairman Diana Johnson.

ROSCOE: The Village of Roscoe will ask voters to approve a 1% sales tax increase that village trustees estimate would bring in an extra $900,000 a year. That money would be used to re-do many of the roads in the subdivisions as well as add sewer and waterlines across the village. The increase would expire in 5 years and would raise the current sales tax from 7.25% to 8.25%.

STILLMAN VALLEY: Voters in Stillman Valley will decide if they want to increase their sales tax by a percent, from 6.25% to 7.25%. It would help build a new wastewater treatment plant. The current plant is 25 years beyond its life, according to the Village President. She expects the sales tax to generate $40,000 a year. A federal loan, plus a grant will also help cover the project’s nearly $7 million price tag.

For more information about all of the above referendums, please see the related links section. To find all of our election preview stories, you can head to the politics page here on our website. A direct link has been provided in the related links section as well.

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