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Daily Journal
     March 18, 2020      #40-78 KDJ

Bradley voters OK sales tax hike 

By Lee Provost

BRADLEY — Bradley bucked the trend of tax referendum questions being rejected during Tuesday’s primary election as village voters approved a 1 percentage point increase in the village’s sales tax rate.

By a 2-1 margin, residents agreed to raise the sales tax rate within the Bradley village limits from 6.25 percent to 7.25 percent.

The referendum was approved by a 1,723-to-814 vote, meaning 68 percent of the voters cast ballots in favor of increasing the rate.

Bradley Mayor Pro Tem Mike Watson, who led the referendum push, said the successful vote is a credit to those within the village government who were able to get the message out to residents.

The increased rate is projected to raise the amount of village sales tax from $7.3 million to $10.5 million.

About $2 million of the new revenue will be returned to Bradley property owners in the form of a property tax rebate.

The bulk of the remainder will be dedicated to the Bradley Fire Department. The village has had significant discussions of constructing a second fire station — this one on the village’s north side — and increasing fire department staffing levels. Some funds will also go toward repairing village infrastructure.

Watson thanked village board members for being bold enough to put this referendum out to the voters when many would rather hide from such issues.

“They are not afraid to make a common-sense call,” he said. “We’ve got a village to fix. This referendum is not a cure-all, but it’s start to see some things happening.”

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