Normal council sets vote on pre-election tax relief

Uptown Normal
Uptown Normal(25News Now)
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 11:37 PM CDT
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NORMAL (25News Now) - On the next-to-the-last meeting before the April 4 election, the Normal Town Council is scheduled to vote Monday night whether to eliminate the town government’s vehicle use tax.

The initial request to do away with the tax came from Karyn Smith, one of three council members up for reelection.

Town staff said in a report that the local government has seen such strong revenue gains the last two years because of a growing economy that it can absorb the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual tax revenue.

Normal can at the same time also pay off debt early, contribute more to police and fire pensions and increase capital funding for road work and town facilities, according to the staff.

“Over the last two years, the town has experienced very strong revenue growth. This has been in large part due to the strong and continued economic development in the community,” the staff’s report said.

“The Town’s conservative budgeting strategies allows us to be well positioned to absorb the loss of the vehicle use tax revenue,” the report also said.

The vehicle use tax rate is 0.75% of a vehicle’s purchase price, minus a trade-in’s value. So, a car with a taxable value of $25,000 would be $187.50, town staffers said.

If the vehicle use tax is eliminated, the town said it stands to lose about $360,000 the next fiscal year and an estimated $480,000 in future fiscal years.

If the council approves the measure, the vehicle use tax would be eliminated July 1.