West Dundee officials will impose new taxes on those who buy gasoline as well as food and beverages in the village, their way of plugging a $400,000 deficit mostly to blame on Target's looming closure.
The village board this week rejected a proposal that would have charged residents $260 a year for garbage collection, as trustees weren't interested in balancing the budget solely on the backs of residents.
"The board felt that was way too high," Village President Chris Nelson said.
West Dundee approved the new taxes Monday, which include a 2-cent per gallon tax on gasoline and a 1 percent tax on food and beverages. The taxes are effective June 1.
Both taxes are expected to generate $450,000 yearly, Village Manager Joe Cavallaro said. Roughly $40,000 will be set aside for costs related to imposing the taxes and a specific dollar amount has not been suggested for a new position to help collect the taxes, he added.
The board saw the taxes as a way for nonresidents to help the village shoulder the financial burden caused by Target's closure, scheduled for May 3. The store has been in the community since 1994 and is one of the village's top sales tax generators.
Nelson pointed out that nearly 40,000 vehicles pass through the village on Route 72 daily while only about 7,500 people live in town.
"The belief is that (the taxes) will not have an effect on the businesses themselves because the fees are fairly nominal and the majority of fees will be collected by residents coming from outside of the community," Nelson explained.
The food and beverage tax will apply to all restaurants and to all of the alcohol sold in the village, Finance Director Dave Danielson said. Candy, soft drinks and coffee are also included.
Patrick "Deep Dish" Bertoletti is one of two owners of Taco in a Bag, a new eatery that opened at Spring Hill Mall last month after appearing on an episode of "Food Court Wars."
Business was booming the first week the eatery opened after the show aired, but is now very slow, Bertoletti said. He's weighing the potential impact the food and beverage taxes will have on business.
"It's not going to kill us or anything, but it's definitely not going to help," he said.
The gas tax applies to the four stations in the village that sell gasoline, diesel fuel and compressed natural gas.
Locally, Carpentersville also charges 2 cents per gallon.
Cavallaro said he surveyed the gas stations in the immediate area on a recent Friday and discovered that one in Carpentersville, even with the tax, had the lowest prices.
"With Carpentersville having a 2 cent per gallon tax, you're assuming their prices would be higher, but that's not the case," Cavallaro said.