Flossmoor residents speaking out in favor of tax proposal

A group of Flossmoor residents has come together in support of the village’s sales tax referendum set to appear on the March 20 ballot. According to the group’s spokesperson, Don Grasse, about a dozen community members have gathered twice to discuss promoting the referendum, which would create a 1 percent village sales tax.
 
So far, the group has raised money to order 100 lawn signs and they have identified as spokesmen Grasse and former Illinois State Rep. George Scully, both Flossmoor residents.
 
Grasse said approving the sales tax makes sense, if residents stop to consider the facts. First, he said the people most affected by the tax increase would be those traveling from nearby towns to shop in Flossmoor, since 92 percent of the village’s sales tax revenue comes from these guest shoppers.

Secondly, Grasse said most of the villages around Flossmoor already collect sales tax. 
 
“We’re basically going to catch up with the other communities around us,” Grasse said. “It’s a penny on the dollar. I just don’t see a downside to this.”
 
Scully, who said Flossmoor Mayor Paul Braun approached him about publicly supporting the referendum, said the sales tax would help fill the hole in the village budget caused by a  reduction in its state sales tax allocation. 
 
After learning about this and other facts, Scully decided to support the sales tax proposal as a way to ensure the financial health of the village.
 
“Nobody likes taxes. But if we are going to tax, we should do so in a smart way,” Scully said. “When we’re looking at good tax policy, you want simplicity and transparency. It’s easy to see this tax, it’s easy for vendors to collect and it produces the desired revenue for our village.” 
 
Grasse said he wants the village to be as financially independent as possible. Though the village has reserves, the additional revenue will help assure they don’t get spent down. In addition to the reduction in state sales tax revenue, the village’s budget has been strained by infrastructure projects. 
 
“It’s a budget hole that hasn't been created by (someone) giving himself a raise or goofy spending,” Grasse said.
 
It’s because of the village administration’s responsible history of financial decision-making that Scully said he’s vocally in favor of the referendum.
 
“I would never support this if I didn’t have confidence that the village government wasn’t handling village finances responsibly,” he said. “I would never give money to someone at any level who wasn’t spending it responsibly. That’s just logic.”

The village will host two information meetings related to the sales tax referendum. 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 3, at 9 a.m.
Both meetings will be held in the board room at Flossmoor village hall, 2800 Flossmoor Road.

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