Gurnee sales tax revenues down three straight quarters

  • Sales taxes in Gurnee were down eight out of the first nine months in the current fiscal year, according to village officials. "It's something we're monitoring," said Jack Linehan, assistant to the village administrator.

    Sales taxes in Gurnee were down eight out of the first nine months in the current fiscal year, according to village officials. "It's something we're monitoring," said Jack Linehan, assistant to the village administrator. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 3/30/2018 4:40 PM

Sales tax revenue in Gurnee has remained down through the first nine months of the fiscal year.

The village collected $371,395 less in sales tax during the first three quarters of Fiscal Year 2018, which began May 1, 2017. That's about 2.85 percent less than budgeted and 3 percent less than collected through the first three quarters of last year's fiscal calendar.

 

"That's the biggest concern right now," Finance Director Brian Gosnell said during a budget presentation to the village board last week. "All (months) but July was down versus last year."

That includes during the holiday shopping season, when December 2017 sales tax revenue came in 4.3 percent down from the previous December.

Jack Linehan, the assistant to the village administrator, said despite the dip from last year, revenues are near the levels they were at two years ago.

"It's a flag, but not a red flag," Linehan said. "It is something we're monitoring."

Sales tax revenue is of particular importance to Gurnee, which does not levy a property tax to pay for village services. About 45 percent of the village's general fund revenue comes from sales taxes.

Linehan said the village is in a strong financial position overall, with healthy fund balances and a healthy budget.

Earlier this month, the village board voted to increase its amusement tax from 3 percent to 4 percent and the hotel tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. The increases, which go into effect May 1, are expected to generate about $1 million in extra revenue.

Mayor Kristina Kovarik said it is hard to say whether the village board would have pursued the tax increases if sales tax revenue were higher.

The village board will discuss and could approve the Fiscal Year 2019 budget when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday, at village hall.

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