City council member voices dissent on tax hike approved in Marion, Ill.

Things got a little heated during a Marion City Council special meeting Monday afternoon after council member Angelo Hightower voted no on the proposed retail sales tax increase.

The 0.25 percent tax hike was ultimately approved, but Hightower says that the city of Marion needs to be more careful with spending. 

"I just don’t think that the city of Marion has been very judicious in their spending. And before we ask the public to pay more in a form of any type of tax, however slight, I just think we need to get our fiscal house in order," Hightower said. 

Currently, the sales tax is around 8.25 percent. Mayor Bob Butler says the retail sales tax increase is necessary. He says it will not be used for a specific project, but will go to the general fund.

"The cost of government keeps increasing. We have supplies, we have equipment that we have to purchase and you always have to have money to pay for it," Butler said. 

Of the tax, 1 percent will go to the school districts for construction projects, so 7.5 percent would go to the city. 

The tax increase will go into effect July 1. It is expected to raise approximately $600,000 from July 1 to Dec. 31. Vehicles and prescription medication will be exempt.

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