Bloomington Approves Fee Hikes To Help With Budget

By Jeff Muniz

July 15, 2010 Updated Jan 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM CDT

Bloomington residents will have to pay more to buy their booze and throw away their bottles.

The City Council Monday night unanimously approved an 2% increase in the package liquor tax and approved an increased in the monthly garbage fee by two dollars, raising it to seven dollars.
Alderwoman Judy Stearns voted against that measure.

Mayor Steve Stockton says it's the first time garbage fees have increased in five years...even though the cost increased by more than one million dollars.
The now 4–percent package liquor tax is now in line with Normal's.
The increases are all in an effort to pay off part of the city's $3 million deficit.

Combined, the two will only generate about a million dollars.
That leaves the city $2 million in the hole.
Alderman Allen Gibson says a long–term solution is increasing the sales tax a quarter–percent.

"I know people don't like their taxes increased and I don't either. But, we have services to provide and we have to pay for and all the feedback I'm getting from the public is they don't want services cut," said Gibson.

So, after Monday's meeting, five alterman stated they were ready to discuss raising the city's sales tax by a quarter percent to seven and three quarters percent, which would bring in about $2.6 million per year.
City staff will look at options for the February 11th meeting.

For more on this story go to W–E–E–K–DOT–COM...and while there, tell us how you think the budget gap should be filled, in our online poll.

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