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Oswego Village Board reaches consensus on referendum to create real estate transfer tax

The Oswego Village Board has reached a consensus to place a referendum on the June 28 ballot that, if approved by voters, would establish a real estate transfer tax.

The proposed tax, first announced by Village President Troy Parlier during his State of the Village Address Feb. 24, would be imposed on new village residents as they purchase homes in the community and would not apply to current village residents.

Village officials plan to use revenues from the tax to help pay for switching the village’s water supply to Lake Michigan water.

The tax would be included in closing costs on new home purchases, while current Oswego residents moving within the village would be exempt from the tax.

The village will publish a notice on March 24 stating that a public hearing will be held on the referendum proposal April 5 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall. At the public hearing, the board is required to explain the reasons for the tax and accept testimony from the public. The village must also make a copy of the proposed referendum ordinance available to the public before the hearing.

Currently, the tax proposed is at a rate of $3 for every $1,000 a home is worth, but the board may amend the ordinance after the April 5 hearing before placing it on the June 28 ballot.

The board agreed to move forward with the referendum during a committee-of-the-whole meeting March 15.

Board member Kit Kuhrt noted that Bolingbrook’s transfer tax is $7.50/$1,000, and said he would like to see the tax raised to $5/$1,000 in Oswego.

“People that are coming in are now going to contribute to paying for the burden that Oswego residents have been paying forever,” Kuhrt said.

Parlier noted that Naperville’s real estate transfer tax is $3/$1,000 and that he would like to keep the village competitive with neighboring suburbs.

“Oswego is blowing up,” said Kuhrt, “You have to come up with the money somewhere. It can’t be a burden on the residents forever.”

The board reached a consensus to move forward with publishing the notice of the April 5 hearing, with current language stating a $3/$1,000 tax.

Kuhrt eventually agreed to move forward with the proposal, but reiterated he wanted to see the number raised before sending it to the ballot.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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