Mt. Vernon leaders debating property tax or sales tax increase - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Mt. Vernon leaders debating property tax or sales tax increase

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MT. VERNON (WSIL) -- Increase property taxes or increase the sales tax? Mt. Vernon city leaders are weighing the two options to pay off a bill from the state. 

Mt. Vernon Mayor John Lewis says the state requires the city's pension fund to be 80 or 90 percent funded by the year 2040.

"We have a $491,000 bill. That's five policemen, that's five firemen, that's eight public works employees. That's a lot of money all at once," explains Mt. Vernon Mayor John Lewis. 

Mayor Lewis says the city doesn't want a tax increase but has run out of options.

"Sales tax, again, 60 percent of the people are paying that bill from the outside, so you get help there. But a tax is a tax. Whether it's a property tax or whether it's a sales tax,"

Taxpayer and home owner Lana Ballard says she's not happy with either choice. 

She explains, "I don't want them to increase either one, but me personally, I'd rather want to see a sales tax increase." 

Other taxpayers we spoke with Monday agree, they would rather see a sales tax increase than a property tax increase. 

"We decided to have our truth and taxation hearing in case that was the direction we wanted to go. Cause had we not, we would have shut the door to property taxes," says Lewis. 

Mayor Lewis says the city is constantly working on ways to save money. The city plans to vote on the property tax levy on December 2nd. 

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