Report Backs Belief Sales Tax Won't Ease Residents' Burden

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Byline: Jake Griffin Daily Herald Staff Writer

Naperville remains one of the few home-rule cities in Illinois without its own additional sales tax, and leaders want to keep it that way.

Some towns use such sales tax revenues to ease the property tax burden on their residents.

But a retail impact study conducted for the Downtown Naperville Alliance indicates enacting an extra 1 percent sales tax here would do little to shift the city's tax burden for its own residents.

While the tax would generate roughly $16 million annually for the city, more than half that likely would come from Naperville residents, the study says.

The end result, some say, is that while residents might save money in property taxes, they would give it right back in increased sales taxes.

"I think it does obviously support the maintaining of the status quo," Councilman John Rosanova said Thursday.

The study suggests a sales tax would generate slightly more than $2 million a year in the city's downtown alone. Roughly $660,000 of that would come from out-of-towners, and the remaining $1.4 million would come from residents.

"We always knew the sales tax would have ... a greater impact on the residents," said Councilman Doug Krause.

The city debated a sales tax last year when officials decided to create a culture fund to offset the cost of financing various civic projects and events.

It opted instead for a 1 percent tax on food and beverage sales at sit-down restaurants downtown. That tax is expected to generate about $2. …