Endorsement: Fox Lake sales tax increase

  • Voters in Fox Lake will be asked to approve a measure increasing the sales tax to 8 percent.

    Voters in Fox Lake will be asked to approve a measure increasing the sales tax to 8 percent. Daily Herald File Photo

 
Daily Herald Editorial Board
Posted2/24/2016 1:00 AM

Fox Lake is asking residents to approve a 1 percentage point sales tax increase to raise roughly $1 million to hire police officers and staff, pay for street repairs and other infrastructure projects.

Village Administrator Anne Marrin calls the increase a "pass-through tax" that will ensure people stopping in town just to purchase goods contribute to the tax base -- though, of course, it also hits people who live and shop in town.

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The increase would bump the village's tax to 8 percent, which village officials say is typical for the area -- though a check with the Illinois Department of Revenue shows a sales tax of 7 percent for nearby Round Lake, Antioch, Lakemoor and Lake Villa.

Will a percentage point difference drive commuters to get gas in Antioch vs. Fox Lake? Maybe. Would it hit the pockets of people who live and work in town? Absolutely.

Village officials are quick to point out that bars and restaurants, just hit with a 1.5 percent tax increase, would be exempt, as would prescriptions.

We get that towns are struggling and need sources of revenue. But we understand the frustration of residents suddenly being asked, or required, to pay more in sales taxes, an entertainment tax, a higher fire district tax and higher sewer fees.

"When will the government stop taking money away from us to pay our bills? The village needs to learn to live within their means, just like we do," said businessman Noel Working.

That's a sentiment worth listening to. We recommend a "no" vote.

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