After an extensive debate with no public input because a public hearing had been previously held, three McHenry Aldermen and one Alderwoman voted to raise the city sales tax rate 50%.
The rate will go from the current 1% to 1.5% starting on New Year’s Day. The higher tax is estimated to provide $975,000 for next year’s budget. The difference between the $1.5 million to be raised and the $975,000 to be used to finance next year’s operations will provide a cushion for future years.
Increasing the McHenry city sales tax 50% were
- Victor Santi – Ward 1
- Jeffrey Schaefer – Ward 3
- Richard Wimmer – Ward 5 (not pictured)
- Geri Condon – Ward 7
Wimmer made the motion to approve the tax hike.
Santi seconded it.
Opposing the sales tax hike were
- Andrew Glab – Ward 2
- Geoffrey Blake – Ward 4
- Richard Peterson – Ward 6
Mayor Sue Low did not vote.
Unlike Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley, who led his council 6-1 (Jeff Thorsen being the only “No” vote), this 50% sales tax hike will be difficult to pin on her.
Spectators were not allowed to enter the council chambers without emptying their pockets, having their bags searched and being wanded by McHenry Police.
The first man to offer public comment said the following:
“I thoroughly object to having two police (search those coming to the council meeting).
“We have a police chief here with a handgun. I’m sure he’s capable of putting down (any problem).
“Surrounding villages do not have it.
“Crystal Lake doesn’t have policemen.
“Neither does Woodstock.
“The biggest thing Elgin has is two posts people have to walk through”