1% Sales Tax Increase Referendum

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- As the election gets closer, Boone County School Districts are hoping voters there will approve a sales tax increase on next month's ballot. Cory Thornton is the owner of CT's Hobbies in Belvidere. He's not always busy, but today he had several sales within a half hour of opening. He's confident he'll keep his business even if a one percent sales tax increase is passed in Boone County.

"We're still going to be cheaper than Rockford and most people won't notice it on their shopping trips anyway,” said Thornton.

If you're in Belvidere this is how the tax would affect you. For every $100 you spend, you'll pay an extra $1 in sales tax. So, if you spend $100 you would pay $6.75. With the tax increase, you would pay $7.75.

The money would be used to pay off bonds in the Belvidere and North Boone school districts.

“Now that the schools need more money, it's either you pay a 1% sales tax or they're going to raise property taxes again. It's not fair for all the homeowners to keep fronting the bill for all of the schools, when it could be spread out between everyone in the county,” said Thornton.

Trisha Humphreys agrees. She works at Jeans Affairs next door, but she says even if it's a small tax increase, some families could be affected in a big way.

"I think if you're on a set budget it could hurt a little bit," Humphreys said.

The sales tax increase is supposed to relieve homeowners, so they won't have to pay as much in property taxes. Belvidere schools would use the money to help pay off anywhere from $75 to $179 million in bonds. North Boone could also use that money for debt or capital projects.

If the tax increase is approved, it would not be collected on groceries or medication. Vehicles and farm equipment are also excluded from the tax.

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