Sales tax increase proposed

Like history, a sales tax referendum can repeat itself. Ald. Jeff Holt (D-11) introduced—on behalf of an absent Ald. Daniel Conness (D-14)—a resolution to put a sales tax referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot during the July 10 City Council meeting.

Conness’ resolution calls for a proposed .75 cent sales tax increase, which would finance the capital improvements identical to the question on the April 2006 ballot.

Holt acknowledged the voters were wary of how the city would manage funds when the question was asked in April. The proposed increase would sunset in June 2009, when Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey and all 14 aldermen—including Conness—would be up for re-election.

“The community was not ready for a 1-cent sales tax (increase),” Holt read from Conness’ comments.

According to the resolution, all funds generated by the proposed sales tax would go toward paying down the existing street bonds as well as financing arterial, collector and residential resurfacing and reconstruction projects throughout the city.

Each alderman would receive 1/15th of the funds for ward-specific street projects, while Morrissey and the Public Works Department would use the remaining share for discretionary purposes.

“We need to make a decision on what we’ll do for the roads,” Holt said.

From the July 12-18, 2006, issue

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