Director of Government Reform
Last night, four Illinois counties had referendums asking voters if they wanted to create a new sales tax. All four referendums were defeated.
The 2007 Illinois County School Facility Tax Act allows a referendum to go on the ballot once a school board representing 51 percent of a county’s population approves the measure.
Recently, the Illinois Policy Institute’s Journalist in Residence Scott Reeder had a column on the issue in the Rockford Register Star.
“New taxes are bit like pregnant mice: Leave the door open a crack and soon they start multiplying,” Reeder said.
It seems voters were tuned into this concern.
Here are the results from the sales tax referendums last night:
Failed - 50.76% No to 49.24% Yes
Failed - 53.95% No to 46.05% Yes
Failed - 58.85% No to 41.15% Yes
Failed - 51.1% No to 48.9% Yes
Since 2007, school districts across Illinois have placed the Illinois County School Facility Sales Tax on the ballot 42 times.
The sales tax referendums have failed 31 times and passed 11 times.
However, some counties have repeated the referendum multiple times until it passes.
There is already movement to resurrect the measure in time for the April ballot in Lee County, where Dixon Police Chief Danny Langloss, leader of the referendum effort, said, “We realized almost every county where this has passed, it took at least two or three times voting.”
For now the taxpayers have won, but the fight will most certainly continue.