Sales Tax Hike Phase-out in Chicago, But Not in Crystal Lake

Front page news on both of Chicago’s papers today was the Cook County Board’s vote to phase out its hefty sales tax under the now out-of-office Todd Stroger.

After a contentious election in which repeal of the Cook County sales tax increase was a major issue, the Cook County Board has voted to phase it out.

The Crystal Lake City Council’s March, 2008, 75% city sales tax increase went into effect the same day as Cook County’s, July 1, 2008.

But there has been no pressure to repeal it.

Unlike in Cook County, there was no local Chicago Tribune beating the drums for repeal. The Northwest Herald did not even run a story the day the tax took effect

And it certainly did not run a campaign similar to the Tribune’s in which every day readers were reminded of the tax hike.

Those on the council who voted to impose the 75% city sales tax have no opposition this year.

Mayor Aaron Shepley has no opponent.

I am sure he has concluded that people in Crystal Lake just don’t care. A justifiable political conclusion.

All who voted for the tax were Republicans, but the Democrats in Crystal Lake are so weak they put up no opposition in the non-partisan election.

What a wedge issue they would have had.

It still bothers me that financing Vulcan Lakes was used as an excuse for imposing the tax. The same reason was used to impose a Tax Increment Financing district on much of the Route 14 area now virtually vacant, plus Vulcan Lakes.

It also bothers me that there was only one week’s notice.  Municipal officials around here don’t want a lot of public input on major decisions and giving virtually no notice certainly encourages lack of citizen participation.

There was an alternative way to finance development of Vulcan Lake, but it would have allowed anyone living in Crystal Lake to use the resulting recreation area.

Some Crystal Lake leaders apparently didn’t want outsiders to be able to enjoy the amenities–regardless of the lower taxes that would have been imposed on Crystal Lake residents and others shopping in Crystal Lake–if the McHenry County Conservation District had paid for the improvements with already existing taxes.

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Besides Mayor Aaron Shepley, the other council members who voted to raise Crystal Lake’s city sales tax 75% are seen above.  Top row:  former Councilman Dave Goss and current Council members Ralph Dawson and Ellen Brady-Mueller.  Second row: Kathy Ferguson and Brett Hopkins.


Sales Tax Hike Phase-out in Chicago, But Not in Crystal Lake — 4 Comments

  1. (In answer to your headline) Because they have not accomplished their goal yet. We are not yet a complete ghost town!

  2. Wasn’t Shepley elected Mayor first, then hired by Centgegra? What did he do before then, other than practice rolling his eyes?

  3. First they clear out half the stores on Route 14 humiliating citizens, then squander and raise taxes enormously, ignore the damaging floods north of the lake affecting hundreds, kill a hospital deal, and finally they deport a few renegade chickens and ban them from the people forever. Any other damage they can do?

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