LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- Shoppers in Loves Park may have to fork over more cash to help the city pay for road improvements. The city council isn't making that call; the aldermen want voters to decide if they'll be willing to pay more to fix up city streets.
Bumpy roads are a problem say Loves Park aldermen, they want at least $8 million to fix them. Their solution is to increase the city's retail sales tax by one percent. It currently sits at 7.25% and would increase to 8.25%. Shop owner Betty Rand says she doesn't think her customers will mind paying a little extra.
“I think a lot of my customers don’t realize they pay one cent less here than they do across the street at Wal-Mart and if we can make our city better, it’s a good idea to me," says Betty Rand, owner of Betty’s Square Dancing and Western Wear.
Loves Park voters will make the ultimate decision on the increase. If it’s approved, the sales tax rate will be on par with the tax in Rockford, Cherry Valley and Machesney Park. That's something Dan Johnson says he doesn't want to hear.
"If that was to happen, I’d have to adjust my pricing to remain more competitive. We have substantial investments in the community and it sure would be nice if the communities would support us," says Dan Johnson, owner of Loves Park Scuba.
Rand says because she runs a specialty shop, she doesn’t think she'll lose customers if the tax goes up however, that doesn’t mean she’s made up her mind on the tax.
"When it gets down to the voting, I’m not sure but my thought, if you’re in a city support you're city," says Rand.
This tax will only apply to retail sales, and not on things like medicine, groceries, or cars. The council hasn't decided if the increase will be in effect for five, seven, or ten years. Once they figure that out, the council will vote to put this issue before voters during the elections next March.