ELGIN — This spring, Elgin voters will decide whether to renew two sales taxes which generate funds for parks and recreation facilities, road improvements and sidewalk repairs.
The Elgin City Council signed off Tuesday on ordinances renewing the city’s 0.25% sales tax, which provides funding for parks and recreational facilities, and a 0.75% sales tax that generates revenue for street and sidewalk projects. Those propositions will not take effect unless voters approve them, in which case the taxes would remain in place for 10 more years but would not increase.
The council also called for a special election on the propositions, set for April 4.
The sales taxes will sunset June 30 of this year unless voters decide to renew them through June 2033, said Allan Brooks, bond counsel for the Oklahoma City-based Public Finance Law Group.
“Basically, we have to have the election in April in order for the tax to not terminate,” he said. “In other words, if we have the election in April and you’ll be able to give notice to the Tax Commission, the tax would just continue on.”
Brooks said renewing the 0.25% tax would generate about $1 million for parks and recreation facilities, based on today’s interest rates, while extending the 0.75% tax would raise approximately $3.6 million for street projects.
Mayor JJ Francais said if voters approve both propositions, he will ask the council to consider issuing bonds to finance parks and recreation projects as well as street and sidewalk improvements. The city would use the proceeds from the sales tax to pay off the bonds.
“What that does is, that allows you to make a more dramatic, more beneficial impact up front,” Francais said. “Because if you use the pay-as-you-go model for the parks, it’s going to take us a while to build new ballparks just south of the current ballparks.”