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Lexington voters support sales tax increase

Man standing in front of hardware store
Emily Bollinger
Lexington Mayor Spencer Johansen said the city needs the additional sales tax revenue to cover rising utility costs.

Voters in Lexington have approved a sales tax increase to help offset rising utility costs.

Mayor Spencer Johansen said he was impressed by the large turnout from Lexington voters in Tuesday’s election. Nearly 900 voters cast ballots on the issue, with 58% supporting the tax hike.

Johansen said residents understand the city will use the additional tax money responsibly.

“The Lexington voters realized that this wasn’t going to be money that was going to be wasted,” Johansen said.

The half-cent sales tax increase will take effect next July. It will generate up to $100,000 annually.

Johansen said the money will offset higher inflation, specifically sharply rising utility costs. He said the higher tax likely won't be temporary.

“I don’t see the prices going down any. I think they are probably going to stay the same and this just helps us get through these times. I’m not saying we won’t reassess this later down the road if prices do decrease,” Johansen said.

Lexington's sales tax (7.25%) will still be lower than similar-sized communities Chenoa and LeRoy (7.75%). It would be equal to Downs and 1.5% lower than Bloomington-Normal.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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