Safety tax increase misses deadline for Stark County

By John A. Ballentine

Stark County Clerk and Recorder Linda Pyell issued a news release letter notifying the Stark County Board that a paperwork filing deadline date was missed resulting in the public safety tax increase being delayed for six months.

Stark voters passed the safety tax during the March 20, 2018 primary election but Pyell’s office failed to submit an ordinance to the county board for passage. The ordinance would have directed the Illinois Department of Revenue to collect the public safety tax after May 1, 2018.

Now the ordinance will be presented to the county board during the regular meeting of August 14, 2018. Once passed, a certified copy of the ordinance and election results authorizing the public safety tax will be sent to the Illinois Department of Revenue.

According to the news release letter issued last week by Pyell’s office, “It is estimated the six month delay will result in a loss of over $30,000 for public safety in Stark County.”

Much of the collected tax money revenue would have been directed to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, which has been under a budget strain. Sheriff Steven Sloan has commented that the increase in tax money had not yet been budgeted for in his upcoming budget. He didn’t believe his office would be greatly affected by the six month delay.

Stark isn’t the only Illinois county to miss the May 1, 2018 deadline. Neighboring Henry County also failed to meet the deadline after a similar tax increase was passed there.

The safety tax would increase the sales tax rate from 6.75 percent to 7.5 percent. The tax rate for every $100 purchase goes from $6.75 to $7.50 on January 1, 2019 with a six-month lag before tax money is received by Stark County with the new ordinance.

The Stark County public safety tax was first implemented in the spring of 2010. It has produced $1,057,927 in revenue for Stark County during those eight years.

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