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What purchases will the additional 1 percent sales tax apply to?

Purchases of meals, soft drinks, gasoline, alcohol, tobacco, household hardware, cleaning supplies and detergents, car parts, cosmetics, catered food, toilet paper and tissues

What won’t be taxed?
Where is the sales tax referendum
on the ballot?
It’s the last item on the ballot. It appears on the screen after the judicial retention voting. If you want to skip judicial retention, keep hitting the “next” button to get to the referendum.

Under Illinois’ convoluted sales tax laws, the items listed below are taxed at just 2.25%. The additional 1% sales tax will not apply to the items listed below and they will continue to be taxed at just 2.25%. River Forest receives none of this 2.25% tax. The State of Illinois collects 1% and the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) collects 1.25% .

Who will pay most of the sales tax collected in River Forest?

Residents from other communities who shop and dine in River Forest now pay most of the sales tax collected in River Forest and will pay most of the 1 percent sales tax increase. When we shop in Oak Park or Chicago, we’re paying their sales tax.

How much will this 1 percent sales tax cost us when we shop or dine in River Forest?

How much of the current 8.5% sales tax goes to River Forest?

How much sales tax do neighboring villages charge?

Oak Park, Melrose Park, and Elmwood Park: 9.5%; Forest Park: 9.0%; Chicago: 9.75%

River Forest is currently at 8.5% and will become 9.5% should the referendum pass.

Have any other non–home rule communities approved a sales tax referendum?

So far 88 Illinois villages and cities have approved a non–home rule referendum to increase their sales tax. At least three have a sales tax referendum on the November 2 ballot this year.

Doesn’t the 9.3% increase in the village’s new budget mean that it hasn’t been cutting costs?

This is a very misleading description of the fund–shifting the village did this year. While the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District existed, the village paid many budget expenditures from the TIF fund (note that the TIF fund is not part of the village’s general budget). Previous village boards engaged in this practice to artificially reduce expenditures in the village budget. The expenses were still there — they were just being paid out of the separate TIF fund.

I won’t be try to be diplomatic — this was a imprudent practice that hid the village’s financial difficulties for years. With the TIF District ending December 31, 2010, the current board has discontinued this practice. The village board brought these expenditures back into the village’s General Fund which is what led to a budget that is 9.3% higher than last year. Overall, total villages expenditures are not higher.


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Author: River Forest Resident Daniel Lauber