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posted: 2/24/2014 5:01 AM

Endorsement: 'Yes' on Winfield sales tax

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Winfield voters are being asked to approve a .25 percent increase in the village's sales tax as part of a plan to pay for ongoing road repairs. The community has 34 miles of road, which officials estimate would cost $650,000 annually to keep in shape under a 20-year maintenance cycle. Winfield's budget, though, allows for less than $400,000 annually. In 2013, residents voted to create a .25 percent local sales tax as a first step toward closing the gap. The increase now before voters would add another $75,000 to $100,000 to the budget earmarked for road work while keeping the village's sales tax lower than the .75 percent to 1.25 percent collected in surrounding towns. Village trustees may consider two additional .25 percent increases in the future to help revenues catch up with road maintenance expenses. In the past, the issue of funding road repairs has been mired in local politics over development on Roosevelt Road and the outsourcing of police services. But officials recently have disentangled their discussions and agreed to borrow $4 million to rebuild and resurface the 30 percent of the village streets rated "poor" to "failing." Grants will allow the village to repair two other stretches of main streets. On this issue at least, Winfield leaders are working together. We applaud that and recommend a yes vote.

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