Anna sales tax referendum on primary election ballot

Anna voters will be asked to approve a sales tax increase when they go to the polls in the 2010 primary election.

The Anna City Council in November unanimously approved a resolution to place the issue on the Feb. 2, 2010, primary election ballot.

The resolution was approved by a 5-0 vote at a regular meeting of the city council.

The resolution was drafted by Anna city attorney Wes Wilkins.

Voters will be asked to approve a .25 of a percent sales tax increase.

City officials hope the sales tax increase could generate some $250,000 to $300,000 a year which would fund what are seen as much-needed projects and programs.

Once the resolution passed, the city undertook an educational campaign to let Anna residents know why the proposal needs to pass.

“This issue is important to the city,” Mayor Steve Hartline said at the time of the resolution's passage.

City officials have been meeting with numerous groups and individuals to discuss the need for passage of referendum.

The referendum will be on the ballot prior to the start of the city’s new fiscal year on May 1, 2010.

Should the proposal pass, then city officials would be able to begin working new funding into their budget plans.

However, funding generated by a sales tax increase would not be received until the year following the election.

The Anna sales tax issue will be on the ballot at the same time as a similar referendum the county is proposing to fund construction of a new courthouse.

Anna’s mayor said now is the time for the city to present the issue to the voters.

Even if the referendum passes and generates additional funding, the mayor insisted that the city will continue to spend wisely.

"We've always been very conservative on our budgets," the mayor stated. "The last thing we want to do is raise property taxes."

A sales tax increase would raise funds on spending by those who live both inside and outside the community and shop in Anna while also using the city's resources, such as park facilities.

City officials see a sales tax increase as the fairest way to generate what they see as much-needed funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

As primarly election day draws closer, Mayor Harrtline took time to discuss the referendum and to share information about the measure.

He shared a list of answers to frequently asked questions which have surfaced in connection with the referendum:

What is the city going to use the money for?

The money will be used to maintain and improve all operations of city government.

The money could be used for the city park, downtown, sidewalks and sports facilities.

How much revenue will be generated by the sales tax increase?

It is estimated that this new 1/4 percent increase would generate around $200,000 a year.

How much money is this going to cost me?

Twenty-five cents for $100 spent in the city limits.

Compared to Anna, what do I pay when I shop in nearby cities?

Anna: City rate 1 percent. County rate .25 percent. State rate 5 percent. Total 6.25 percent.

Marion: City rate 2.25 percent. County rate 1.25 percent. State rate 5 percent. Total 8.5 percent.

Carbondale: City rate 3 percent. County rate .25 percent. State rate 5 percent. Total 8.25 percent.

Cape Girardeau: City rate 2.75 percent. County rate 1 percent. State rate 4.225 percent. Total 7.97 percent.

Are there any other options to generate this kind of new revenue?

The city has two primary options: Property tax or sales tax.

A property tax increase places the entire burden on those who own property in the city.

Sales tax is shared by everyone who shops in the city, not just local property owners.

The city has lowered its property tax rate by nearly 20 percent over the last 20 years.

The mayor emphasized that the city will continue to utilize funding in a conservative manner.

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        The Gazette-Democrat

        112 Lafayette St.
        Anna, Illinois 62906
        Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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