Plainfield could establish taxes on liquor and restaurant food and beverages and/or increase utility, gas and sales taxes to stave off a 2012-13 budget deficit of about $1.85 million, the was told Monday.
The village would net about $120,000 for every quarter percent of tax charged to food and beverages and $30,000 for every quarter percent of tax charged on liquor, according to the proposal laid out by Village Administrator Brian Murphy.
Up until now, the village has not collected either tax. While taxing liquor is still relatively unusual for municipalities, especially in the southwest suburbs, food and beverage taxes are becoming more common. Locally, Bolingbrook charges 1.5 percent and Joliet, Naperville and Romeoville each charge 1 percent.
As for the other taxes, a quarter percent sales tax increase could bring in an additional $725,000, a quarter percent utility tax hike could net about $150,000 and a 1-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax would generate about $180,000.
Plainfield currently collects a 1 percent sales tax, 5 percent utility tax and a 2-cent gas tax.
By comparison, Bolingbrook and Romeoville come in higher than Plainfield in all three categories. Both towns have a 1.50 percent sales tax and a 6 percent utility tax. Bolingbrook collects a 5-cent gas tax and Romeoville 4 cents.
Trustees generally seemed amenable to the concept of creating new taxes or increasing existing taxes if it means holding the line on property taxes.
“If we have to raise taxes, we have to raise taxes,” Trustee Jim Racich said. “If we keep the pain to a minimum, we’ll be doing our job.”
Murphy has not made a recommendation on anything other than keeping the , which is the same as what was collected for the 2011-12 budget year ending June 30.
The argument in favor of raising taxes on items such as gas or food is that some of it is paid by people who live outside of Plainfield, Murphy said.
The tax rate, which determines how much will be collected from property owners for every $100 of equalized assessed valuation, must be set before the end of December. If the board follows Murphy’s suggestion, people whose property values have stayed the same will see a very small increase in the taxes paid to the village.
Anyone who saw a decrease in values should also see a drop in their village tax bill, Murphy said. However, that does not necessarily mean the overall tax bill will decrease. Each taxing body sets its own tax rate, and the amount paid to Plainfield is only about 5.7 percent of the total tax bill. is the largest taxing body, accounting for about 64 percent of the bill.