Massac County commissioners encourage courthouse sales tax
Massac County, Illinois, leaders say if voters don’t pass a 1 percent sales tax, the county could lose its courthouse.
The vote for the sales tax will be on the upcoming November ballot. The money would go to pay courthouse maintenance, and the tax would last a maximum of 15 years.
The tax is the same one that was turned down by 192 votes during the primary in March. County leaders say it could be trouble for the courthouse’s future if voters turn it down this time.
Prices and money mean everything to Freddie Grace’s customers. But, in his business, there’s one trend that’s hard to ignore.
“The prices are not going down that much. They are going up a little," Grace says. He says they work to make their groceries as affordable as possible, and he worries his customers will shop elsewhere if they have to pay more.
"One percent is not much, but if you add it to several things you buy, (it adds up)," Grace says.
If you were to go grocery shopping, your food items would not be taxed, but everything else would be 1 cent on the dollar. Massac County Commissioner Jayson Farmer says that 1 cent will go a long way toward saving the courthouse.
“We all understand. No one wants to be taxed more. We thought this was the most fair tax out there," Farmer says.
Farmer says with most of the county business moved out of the courthouse, they’re running out of options and believe a small tax is the best option for everyone.
“It could really be beautiful again if we spent some money," Farmer says.
A bulk of courthouse business has been moved to the courthouse annex at the old Banterra Bank. The county has only until December to use this space or come up with another plan for county business.