Lake Zurich voters to rule on sales tax increase in November

  • A fire gutted Lake Zurich's Paulus Park Barn in November.

    A fire gutted Lake Zurich's Paulus Park Barn in November. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

Posted8/19/2020 5:30 AM

Lake Zurich voters will decide in November whether the village should hike its share of the sales tax by half a percentage point, a move that would raise money for rebuilding the Paulus Park Barn and other village infrastructure projects.

The village board voted 5-1 Monday night to put the sales-tax referendum on the November ballot. The increase would bring the total sales tax in Lake Zurich to 8 percent, of which the majority goes to the state.


The question to voters will read: "Shall the Village of Lake Zurich be authorized to increase its current one-half percent (0.5%) sales tax by another one-half percent (0.5%) to levy a 1% sales tax to be used for public infrastructure, municipal operations, or property tax relief?"

Kyle Kordell, assistant to the village manager, said if village voters approve the request, the extra tax would generate about $2 million annually. It would be used to fund the community's preferred enhancements at the fire-ravaged Paulus Park Barn as well as other projects, such as improving Fire Station No. 1 which was built 38 years ago.

Over the course of a monthslong survey process, Lake Zurich residents have indicated a preference for rebuilding and expanding the Paulus Park Barn with a one-story, 9,000-square-foot addition.

Trustee Janice Gannon cast the dissenting vote Monday. She said she thinks the state is going to raise taxes soon because of COVID-19 and it is a bad time to raise taxes locally as well.

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To explain the impact of the proposed increase, Kordell said if you bought a $45 sweater today, the total cost with the current 7.5% sales tax rate would be $48.38. With an 8% rate, that same sweater would cost $48.60.

In November 2010, Lake Zurich voters authorized the village to implement the initial non-home rule sales tax rate of 0.5%, with 3,438 voting "yes" and 2,845 voting "no."

Kordell said that money generates about $2 million and is directed to the annual road resurfacing program, stormwater drainage improvements and underground water and sanitary line modernization work.

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