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updated: 4/8/2014 4:53 PM

No automatic end for Batavia sales-tax increase

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If the Batavia City Council wants the new half-cent sales tax increase it imposed March 17 to end in 2017, it will have to vote to do so.

So says the Illinois Department of Revenue, which collects and distributes sales taxes. According to a memo from city finance director Peggy Colby, revenue department officials said they "do not and will not impose a sunset clause."

Batavia aldermen voted Monday on a revised version of the sales tax ordinance, changing some language per the revenue department's suggestion.

The measure passed 11-3.

The ordinance calls for the increase to end July 1, 2017, at the request of Alderman Nick Cerone. He said doing so would "put the onus" on a future council to decide whether the tax should be continued.

The sunset clause was left in the revised ordinance, to serve as a reminder of the city's intent. Colby wrote she has also marked on her calendar to remind the council to address this in time to notify the revenue department to drop the tax July 1, 2017.

The half-cent increase won't apply to groceries, medications and titled vehicles. Colby estimates it could put another $1.5 million in to the city's general fund annually. The city intends to use the money to help buy electricity.

The increase takes effect July 1.

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