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Machesney Park Residents Fed Up with Utility Tax Take Action

A controversial utility tax is causing some Machesney Park residents to take action.

MACHESNEY PARK- A group of Machesney Park residents are getting set to pass a petition around collecting signatures to put a utility tax referendum on November’s ballot.

"The citizens of Machesney Park that I’ve talked to, they disagree with the utility tax. They believe it should be brought forth to the citizens and not sent to the status quo politicians that sit on the board," said Machesney Park Third District Trustee James Kidd.

Former Machesney Park Mayor Tom Strickland believes the fund isn't being spent correctly.

"I don't know how they can have a budget when they've got a slush fund. That’s what I call the utility tax. It’s an open door slush fund for the Village to use for anything they want to," said Strickland.

Around $850,000 has been collected in the last year. According to Village of Machesney Park reports the majority of the utility tax fund has gone towards street construction and maintenance.

Another part of the tax collected, around $115,000 has been spent on public safety equipment and personnel.

Other monies have gone towards multi-use paths and walkways plus rebates. 

"We should have the best roads in the world with all the money that Machesney Park has taken in for the roads and we don't believe me," expressed Strickland.

Organizers will pass the petition around for signatures starting in the next two weeks. Even if the measure makes it on the November ballot, it would be a non-binding referendum.

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