Village of WestmontDate Issued: Mar. 23, 2015
“The Village has been diligently providing information to the public regarding this upcoming Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax Referendum,” says Village Trustee Steve Nero. “We encourage everyone to get informed and vote on this important issue.” The Village of Westmont will host its final public referendum informational presentation on Thursday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. at the Village Hall, 31 W. Quincy. Westmont residents will vote on the referendum question at the Spring Election on April 7, 2015.
This referendum will decide the potential future of stormwater management in Westmont. The AMEC consulting firm estimated that there are approximately $30 million worth of stormwater management projects in the community. If approved, this sales tax referendum would only cost residents a half-penny on the dollar for most local retail purchases, but could then generate up to $1 million a year in revenue that would be dedicated towards stormwater-infrastructure issues.
It is important for residents to understand that the language of the referendum is such that the monies generated from the sales tax would exclusively be used for stormwater-infrastructure purposes only. The Village will not have the authority to change the amount or the purpose of the sales tax.
The referendum question on the ballot will read as follows:
Shall the corporate authorities of the Village of Westmont be authorized to levy a non-home rule sales tax at a rate of 1/2% solely for expenditures on a municipal stormwater management program and public infrastructure?
Registered Westmont voters can vote yes or no on the question. The question will also be listed in Spanish.
“This is an initiative that was driven by the community,” says Mayor Ron Gunter, “and I’m very pleased at how we all worked together as a team to come to this solution. Per the feedback we received from the majority of the community who participated in the development of these plans, the Board decided to move forward with a Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax Referendum.”
“For more than a year, the Village has been working on this initiative,” says Village Trustee Jim Addington, “and after considering all of the options, it was decided that this modest sales tax increase would be the best way to address this problem while having minimal financial impact on our citizens.”
Referendum presentations have been made throughout the community including the Village Hall, District 201 School Board, Maercker District School Board, the Chamber, and the Library. The Village also has provided comprehensive information regarding this referendum on the Village Website at westmont.illinois.gov.
STORMWATER-INFRASTRUCTURE SALES TAX REFERENDUM FACTS
* Westmont voters will be able to vote on the 1/2% local general sales tax referendum on April 7, 2015* Per the language in the referendum, all monies generated from this sales tax will be used specifically for stormwater management and infrastructure improvements only* Per the language in the referendum, future Village Boards will NOT be authorized to re-direct any of the monies received through this sales tax* Per the language in the referendum, future Village Boards will NOT have the authority to increase the tax rate percentage - it will remain at 1/2%* The Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax revenue source will grow as the economy grows* Collection of a Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax will be mostly administered through the State, thus, not creating a heavy burden on staff to collect the revenue* The set-up of a Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax, which may only take a few months, will be much easier compared to other options that were considered, thus allowing the Village to get started on working on Stormwater Management issues quickly if approved* The Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax direct impact to local businesses will be far less when compared to other options that were considered - Businesses will only be affected in terms of participating in the collection of the sales tax* Residents and visitors will pay this tax (half a penny on the dollar) when making retail purchases in the community* The vast majority of DuPage municipalities already have and benefit from a local general sales tax (Westmont currently does not)* The majority of DuPage municipalities that have a local general sales tax has a rate of 1% or more; the Village of Westmont is proposing 0.5%, which is half of what most communities charge* Purchases made in Westmont by non-residents will also contribute to this revenue stream* The Village currently has a Places For Eating Tax rate of 1.5%, which impacts about 125 businesses - the Stormwater-Infrastructure Sales Tax will be a tax in addition to the Places For Eating Tax
“Per State Law, the Village cannot advocate for or against this referendum,” says Trustee Steve Nero, who chaired the initial Stormwater Committee made up of Westmont residents, “but it is important to make clear that if a new revenue stream is not identified and dedicated for stormwater management and infrastructure improvements, then the growing flood issues that we have seen over the past decade can not be addressed in the way we would like to.”
The Village will host several informational meetings over the next several months to answer the questions of our citizens. Look for details to be posted on the Village Website - westmont.illinois.gov. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-417-0280. The Village encourages the entire community to get involved, learn about this important topic, and vote on April 7, 2015.
Contact: Larry McIntyreVillage of Westmont Communications Director630-417-0280, email@example.com