Three of four proposed tax hikes rejected in Springfield
Three of the four tax hikes proposed by Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder were rejected by the City Council last Tuesday.
Only the 1 percent hike in the hotel tax was approved.
Hikes in sales and communications taxes and a new levy on natural gas were rejected by the aldermen. Instead, the city will consider slowing hiring for vacant positions, reducing operating expenses and seeking $1.3 million in repayment from City Water, Light and Power. The city bailed out the utility two years ago with a $4.4 million loan. Springfield currently faces a multimillion-dollar gap between revenues and expenditures.
"We'd have to take a look at each department and what they said they would cut, and then make a determination for what we think is worth saving and what we think is not," Langfelder told the State Journal-Register.
Budget Director Bill McCarty indicated that the city will face an almost $4 million deficit unless spending cuts are made or tax increases are approved by the council. The hotel tax will increase from 6 to 7 percent. Approximately $500,000 would be used for operating Oak Ridge Cemetery. The cemetery received approximately the same amount from the city in previous years.
After a prolonged discussion between the council and hotel representatives, they decided to spend the remainder of the additional funds generated by the tax on downtown tourism and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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1450 Groth Street
Springfield, IL 62703