ROSCOE, Ill. (WTVO) — Tuesday, March 17th Roscoe will ask voters to approve a 1% sales tax increase to improve village streets.

Roscoe Village President Mark Szula says some residential roads are in dire need of repairs.

“The roads are really nothing more than a glorified driveway,” he said.

Especially, Szula said, those build in subdivisions over the last 20 years.

“The standards that they had, the ordinances that were in place, the roads are falling apart,” he continued. “So, that standard had to be raised, which it had been, and there’s no money to fix them.”

Szula thinks a local sales tax could be the answer.

The proposed tax is projected to generate about $1.1 million in annual revenue.

Village Administrator Scott Sanders believes the tax would offset more than 60% of the burden on non-residents who shop in the area.

“Our big [tax revenue] generators are the gas stations on Hwy 251 and the truck stops on the Rockton Road exit,” Sanders said. “We feel we could really capitalize on a lot of money from people outside of the village, to put to use within our village limits.”

Village leaders are working on a five-year plan to improve infrastructure.

Applegate Drive, Upper Ridge Way, and Chestnut Street are some of the streets being looked at for repairs, starting in 2021.

If the tax isn’t passed, Szula says they won’t have enough money for all of the necessary repairs.

“There is no magic wad of money that we can just pull from,” he said.

If the tax is passed in Roscoe, Sanders says it wouldn’t necessarily be permanent, because the referendum includes a sunset clause.

“Five years from now, if the village residents don’t feel we’ve been good stewards of that money, they don’t have to renew it.”

Village leaders will hosting a series of town halls to learn more about the tax.


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