Johnson County voters decided in favor sales tax hike

In Johnson County, Illinois, voters decided in favor of a 1 percent sales tax hike.

The second time was the charm there. The initiative passed with more than 60 percent of voters agreeing that the sales tax increase is necessary.

There was a roar of cheers and clapping when all 16 of the precincts were in. Despite looking like a lock for most of the night, commissioners wouldn’t give any interviews until all the votes were in for fear they might jinx it

There was a big turnout for the vote, with 48 percent of registered voters casting their ballot.

By voting yes, up to $400,000 a year will be collected by the county and used to replace the 100-year-old county government annex offices, which are infested with mold.

Johnson County Commissioner Ernie Henshaw says after heated debate, it’s up to the voters what the new offices will look like.

"It’s my hope that we have some public meetings. I’d like to have some public input about the location of the building and style of the building, so we can find a happy medium." Henshaw said. 

Once a plan is in place and new buildings are ready to be opened, Johnson says he feels like the old buildings will need to be torn down.

He hopes they can be turned into more parking and green space.

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