Tinley Park to adopt local sales tax
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org February 14, 2014 8:08PM
Updated: March 17, 2014 11:28AM
Faced with the likelihood of expenses outstripping revenue as soon as next year, Tinley Park officials plan to enact a local sales tax as some neighboring towns have done.
The 0.75 percent tax would take effect July 1 and apply to most purchases, with the exception of groceries, prescription medication and vehicles.
The village board will consider public comments during an initial reading of the sales tax ordinance at Tuesday night’s village board meeting, with a final vote planned for the board’s March 4 meeting, Mayor Ed Zabrocki said.
The local tax would raise the sales tax in the Cook County portion of the village to 8.75 percent and to 7.75 percent in its Will County areas.
The village projects that the tax will cost the average household $123 annually but that half of the $5.4 million in expected annual revenue from the tax will come from non residents making purchases in Tinley Park. That makes a sales tax preferable to a property tax rate increase, according to village officials.
Despite tight fiscal controls, including not filling open jobs, the village expects that its revenue will fall short of expenses starting in the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins May 1.
While some nearby communities have a local sales tax — Orland Park’s is also 0.75 percent — Tinley Park has resisted, even as the recession cut deeply into traditional revenue sources.
“We have pushed it off as long as we thought we could,” Zabrocki said.
Without a local sales tax, revenue in the upcoming fiscal year is forecast at $44.1 million while expenses will be $44.7 million, according to village estimates. By 2019, that budget gap will grow to $3.1 million.
The new sales tax will not only help village officials avoid hiking the property tax, it will provide a way to pay for the costly removal and replacement of trees infested by the emerald ash borer — estimated to reach or exceed $6 million.
The sales tax also would help fund street repairs, according to the village. It projects that its motor fuel tax revenue, which historically has been the main source of money for street maintenance, will continue to decline.
“People are driving less, and they’re driving more (fuel) efficient cars,” Zabrocki said.