Treasurer guest speaker at July 6 chamber meeting

The Union County Chamber of Commerce had a regular monthly meeting on Thursday, July 6, at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.

An announcement was made regarding the chamber’s Movies in the Park event. 

The event is free and sponsored by the chamber and local businesses. Jus10’s Frozen Yogurt and Dessert Shoppe plans to sell desserts during the movies.

The chamber plans to show three movies: “The Sandlot” on July 21, “Diary of Wimpy Kid” on Sept. 15 and “Captain Underpants” on Oct. 27. Movies are shown at the Anna City Park in Anna.

A ribbon cutting is planned for the Peaceful Pet Resort on July 29 at 9 a.m. The business is located at 319 Willards Ferry Rd. in Jonesboro.

Union County Treasurer Darren Bailey was the guest speaker at the meeting. He gave a presentation called “Ensuring a Healthy Heartbeat: Why Shopping Locally Matters.”

The presentation focused on how revenue from sales taxes in Union County are distributed. 

The current sales tax is 7.5 percent. Bailey said that 5 percent of that goes to the State of Illinois, 1 percent goes to the local municipality, .25 of a percent to Union County, 1 percent to Union County (a public facilities tax for the Union County Courthouse) and .25 of a percent goes to Union County (a public safety tax for police).

Bailey explained the public facilities tax that pays for the courthouse, saying “this building to me is a beacon of hope of what Union County can do.”

He added that if residents were unhappy with the way their tax dollars are being spent, they should contact their government and share their concerns.

“Our job here is to serve you,” he said.

Bailey said that the sales tax generated $3,163,218 in 2016. A large majority of that money goes to the funding of local school districts.

He showed a comparison of the sales tax rate in Union County to several regional cities. Carbondale, Marion and Cape Girardeau all have higher taxes, while Paducah has a lower rate of 6 percent.

“It’s not just about taxes...It’s about preserving what we have today and gaining what we want for tomorrow.”

Bailey shared a “Where do my taxes go?” graphic, which showed how taxes are appropriated to a number of local fixtures, including school districts, government, libraries and more. The graphic can be viewed online at

Another part of the presentation showed the difference in property taxes, depending on which area of Union County a house is located in.

The Gazette-Democrat

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

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