2014 Sales Tax Referendum Information

November 4, 2014 Election Results

Official Results as of 11.21.14

Public Question On Imposing Non-Home Rule Sales Taxes

Shall the corporate authorities of the Village of Wadsworth be authorized to impose a Non-Home Rule Municipal Retailers’ Occupation Tax and Non Home-Rule Municipal Service Occupation Tax (sales tax) at a rate of 1% for expenditures on municipal operations, expenditures on public infrastructure, or property tax relief as authorized by state statute?

YES: 818 votes

NO: 754 votes



A public question will appear on the November Ballot regarding a proposal to raise the Village's sales tax rate from 7% to 8% in order to keep our roads in good repair.  This page explains the proposal in detail.

Sales tax rates of our neighbors:

- Beach Park: 7%
- Gurnee: 8% (As of January 1, 2015)
- Waukegan: 8.25% (As of January 1, 2015)
- Zion: 7%

One of the most significant points is that non-residents will fund a big portion of the cost to maintain our roads.  There will be no increase in the Village portion of your property tax bill to fund these road improvements if this public question is approved by the voters.

15-Year Plan for Road Repairs

Our Village Engineers, Gewalt Hamilton Associates, Inc., have made a detailed study of what needs to be done on a yearly basis under the assumption that each Village road gets repaved every 15 years.  The total estimated cost is roughly $900,000+ each year for 15 years.  The plan is available for download at the bottom of this page.


On the November 4, 2014 ballot you will be asked to consider an increase from 7% to 8% in the sales tax rate charged in Wadsworth.  This is an important matter and it affects virtually all of us.

Over a 15-year period, the Village will need important infrastructure improvements, primarily but not limited to 33 miles of roads.  These roads need to be maintained, repaired and reconstructed to be kept safe.  Motor fuel tax receipts are insufficient to meet these needs.

The Village's principal sources of revenue are state income tax, property tax, motor fuel tax and sales tax.

State Income Tax: These funds will not increase by any significant amount and might actually decrease as state legislators routinely look to plug their own budget holes.

Property Tax: The total amount of property taxes received annually is about $45,000, or about $10 to $15 per house.  The balance of your real estate tax bill goes to about 16 other taxing authorities in Lake County.  No increase in its property tax levy is being considered by the Village to fund these road improvements.

Motor Fuel Tax: These funds are distributed on a per capita basis.  The amount the Village receives annually is barely enough to make minor repairs, let alone required improvements and appropriate maintenance.

Sales Tax: The only remaining real possibility for an increase in Village revenue is from sales tax.  As you might now, the Forest Preserve District owns huge tracts of land adjacent to Village boundaries that has effectively limited the potential for new commercial growth.  Furthermore, the Forest Preserve District pays no property taxes.

Commercial development is limited in general because the Village has no industrial water and sanitary sewer systems.

The Village now receives some taxes from gaming activities and while that helps, it is not nearly enough to fund the needed projects each year.

Therefore, the only real possibility of funding the needed road improvements is through a general sales tax increase from 7% to 8%.

Non-Residents Help Fund This

A large amount of Village retail business comes from people who do not live in Wadsworth.  Obviously, these folks use our roads, too.

The beauty of a general sales tax increase is that the tax is shared...Wadsworth residents would incur only a portion of the cost, just to the extent they shop in Wadsworth.

Questions & Answers

 1. Why does the Village need to raise the sales tax rate?

To fund a 15-year capital improvement program, primarily your roads.  This includes 33 miles of Village roads.  Newport Township roads are not maintained by the Village but rather the Newport Township Road District.  County roads, such as Wadsworth and Delany Roads, are maintained by Lake County.

2. Why should I pay more in sales tax when my property tax is so high?

The Village gets very little from your property tax bill.  For example, if your bill is $12,000, the Village gets about $24.  The rest goes to about 16 other taxing authorities.

3. We pay 7% now.  Where does it all go?

The State gets 5%, the Village 1%, the RTA .75% and the County .25%.

4. What would this money be used for?

The implementation of a 15-year road improvement plan.  Each year, 2.2 miles of roads would be repaved.

5. Why does the Village need the money?  Doesn't it have enough?

The Village operates on a total budget of about $1.3 million per year.  Each mile of road costs about $350,000 to repave.  We have a difficult time doing even one mile now, not to mention that there are 33 miles of Village roads.

6. How much of a sales tax increase does the Village want?

An increase from 7% to 8%.

7. How much new money would this bring in?

Based on current sales tax collections, about $500,000 per year.  This would be enough to repave about 1.5 miles of roads per year.

8. How much would this cost me?

It depends, of course, on how much you spend in the Village.  To put things in perspective, a gallon of milk would cost 3 cents more.  For every $10 you spend here, that would only be a dime more.  If you spent $2,000 during the year (in the Village), that's only $20 more.

You can clearly see that since sales taxes are also paid by non-residents, your cost to have good roads is not very much.

9. Is it cheaper to raise property taxes?

No.  Property taxes would have to increase by $418 for a home worth $300,000 ($836 for a home worth $600,000, etc.) to yield the same benefits as the proposed sales tax hike.  See the preceding paragraph.

10. What happens if I vote no?

If the referendum fails, it is not clear how our roads will be maintained on the schedule designed for their life spans.  This may result in deteriorating roadways and possible declining property values.

11. Can I see a detailed plan for the road construction?

Yes.  It is available for download at the bottom of this page.  The plan is also available for review and copying at the Village Hall.


Please note that the road plan begins with the 2016 calendar year. 

The new sales tax rate will go into effect on July 1, 2015, following the adoption of an Ordinance by the Wadsworth Village Board to impose the new tax rate and the filing of same with the Illinois Department of Revenue prior to April 1, 2015.

Contact the Wadsworth Village Administrator at 847.336.7771.



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