Suburban mayors oppose proposal to reduce state grocery tax by 1% | Trending Viral hub

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Several suburban mayors gathered Monday to protest a proposal to eliminate the 1% sales tax on groceries in Illinois, saying it would force cuts to services or increase alternative taxes.

The mayors of Algonquin, Barrington, Cary and Libertyville said Gov. JB Pritzker’s proposed tax cut would hurt their ability to provide basic services. They say the governor should reconsider, or that the state needs to replace the full 10% that municipalities previously received from the state income tax.

“This is only going to hurt us immensely,” said Algonquin Mayor Debby Sosine.

In his February budget speech, Pritzker proposed increasing taxes by almost 900 million dollarsbut he asked to eliminate the 1% tax on groceries, considering it a regressive tax that harms the poor.

The tax revenue goes entirely to local governments. The mayors explained how this would affect their municipalities.

The change would cost retail-rich Algonquin about $2 million, about 10% of its budget, Sosine said, calling it “unacceptable.”

Until January 2011, 10% of total income tax revenue was dedicated to municipalities and counties. That share has since dropped to about 6.5% this fiscal year, the Illinois Municipal League reported.

Libertyville Village President Donna Johnson said mayors are sensitive to residents in financial trouble, but said the cuts affect basic services such as police, fire, public works and roads.

“We want a more balanced approach,” he said. “We need to be heard.”

While the tax amounts to just $1.50 of a $150 grocery bill, it adds significant amounts to providing services, about $600,000 in Barrington’s case, Mayor Karen Darch said.

Cary officials are reconsidering their budget in light of the surprise proposal. In a pre-planned referendum, the city will ask voters in the March 19 election for home rule power to create a new 1% sales tax to pay for infrastructure improvements.

“Municipalities want to work with the state,” said Mayor Mark Kownick. “We’re looking for some kind of relief.”

State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, who hosted the news conference, noted that municipalities typically can’t raise their property taxes more than 5% a year and want to be less dependent on property taxes, so the Cutting the grocery sales tax would likely result in better service. cuts.

“This is not a tax cut,” he said. “It’s a political sleight of hand.”

Anticipating such criticism, the governor’s office issued a statement saying it supports local government operations with more than $1 billion annually in additional funding from sources including an Internet sales tax, gasoline taxes and transportation vouchers.

Pritzker had temporarily eliminated the grocery tax in 2022, what Republicans at the time called an election-year ploy. The governor recently said he would not reconsider his proposal to eliminate the grocery tax, calling it the “most regressive” tax.

“If it reduces inflation for families from 4% to 3%, even if it only puts a few hundred dollars back into families’ pockets, it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

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