Friday, December 1, 2023

Commissioners call for sales tax increase

At a special called meeting on Thursday, Aug. 14, the Johnson County commissioners met to discuss a new proposition to appear on this year’s ballot in November.

The proposition concerns a small increase in sales tax on select items to provide funding for the much-needed county building complex.  According to the board, the county has been told that it is physically impossible to renovate the existing buildings because they were grandfathered in under the current code requirements for any county public structures.  Existing buildings are literally falling down in places but to do any kind of renovation would mean loss of the “grandfather” status and require a complete tear-down and rebuilding in order to meet currently existing building code demands.  The cost of that would be exorbitant, according to board members.   The board says the proposed referendum would provide for a much easier and cheaper method to accomplish a much better end result.  Passage of this change would still make Johnson County with a lower sales tax rate than any of its adjacent counties.  Additional meetings with local area city boards are planned to allow for question and answer sessions about this.  The following is a copy of the planned referendum as it will appear on the ballot.


RESOLUTION NO. 2014 – 18



WHEREAS, pursuant to Illinois law, codified at 55 ILCS 5/5-1006.5 of the Counties Code, the County Board of any county may impose a tax upon all persons engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property, other than personal property titled or registered with an agency of this State’s government, at retail in the county on the gross receipts from the sales made in the course of business to provide revenue to be used exclusively for public safety, public facility, or transportation purposes in that county, if a proposition for the tax has been submitted to the electors of that county and approved by a majority of those voting on the question; and,

WHEREAS, the Johnson County Board has determined that it is in the best interest of Johnson County to seek an increase in the sales tax imposed in the County of Johnson in the amount of 1% to be used for public facilities purposes; and

WHEREAS, for purposes of this Resolution, the term “public facility purpose” and/or “public facilities purposes” means the acquisition, development, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, improvement, financing, architectural planning, and installation of capital facilities consisting of buildings, structures, and durable equipment and for the acquisition and improvement of real property and interest in real property required, or expected to be required, in connection with the public facilities, for use by the county for the furnishing of governmental services to its citizens, including but not limited to museums and nursing homes.


1.) The County Board hereby seeks an increase in the sales tax imposed in the County of Johnson in the amount of 1% to be used for public facilities purposes.

2.) This additional sales tax, if approved, shall not be imposed on the sales of food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises where it is sold (other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, and food which has been prepared for immediate consumption) and prescription and non-prescription medicines, drugs, medical appliances and insulin, urine testing materials, syringes, and needles used by diabetics.

3.) The following proposition (as set forth herein below) shall be proposed to the electors of Johnson County, Illinois at the next regularly scheduled election, after said question has been duly certified by the election authority.

4.) The proposition shall be set forth as follows:

“To pay for public facilities purposes, shall Johnson County be authorized to impose an increase on its share of local sales taxes by 1%?”

5.) As additional information on the ballot, below the proposition, the following shall appear:

“This would mean that a consumer would pay an additional $1.00 in sales tax for every $100.00 of tangible personal property bought at retail.”

6.) The votes shall be recorded as “Yes” or “No”.  If a majority of the electors of Johnson County, Illinois voting on the proposition vote in favor of it, the County shall be authorized to impose a sales tax increase of 1%.

This Resolution shall be in effect upon its passage and approval as provided by law.

On roll call vote, this Resolution No. 2014-18 passes this 14th day of August, 2014.

Jeff Mears, yes

Phil Stewart, yes
Ernie Henshaw, yes

Robin Harper-Whitehead, County Clerk/Recorder