Why Kane County is taking more time to decide on new sales tax referendum

A Kane County Board committee has further delayed deciding whether to ask voters to approve a new sales tax.

Dale Berman, chairman of the finance and budget committee, asked for the item to be removed from the committee’s agenda on Wednesday because he “sensed” members weren’t ready to decide.

Berman said he wants an ad hoc committee to review the idea.

The tax was proposed by Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog to fill in a gap between revenue and spending in the county’s general fund. Spending has outpaced revenue for several years, with the difference being pulled out of reserves.

As work began last month on the 2025 budget, finance department officials projected an $11 million deficit in that fund.

The general fund pays the salaries of most of the county’s employees.

The proposed special county retailers occupation tax would be spent on public safety.

The county board was supposed to vote on the tax on April 9 but decided the finance committee should consider it first.

Pierog proposed a 1% sales tax. Finance department officials say that could bring $60 million a year to the county. The tax would be charged on general merchandise and gasoline, not groceries, medications, medical equipment or titled vehicles.

The county could ask for a rate as low as .25%.

Pierog suggested that the committee ‒ be it a subcommittee of the finance committee or an ad hoc of the county board ‒ also discuss what to do about the county’s finances if voters don’t approve the sales tax.

The county board has a deadline of Aug. 19 to decide whether to put a referendum question on the November ballot, according to the state’s election calendar.

Kane County goes against policy, will use savings to balance budget instead of tax hike

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.