Another Metro-East city looks to raise revenue through higher sales taxes - KMOV.com

Another Metro-East city looks to raise revenue through higher sales taxes

(KMOV)-- First it was Belleville ditching its wheel tax for a sales tax increase to generate more money.

Tuesday night at 7:30, elected leaders in nearby Fairview Heights are expected to vote to approve a sales tax increase there.  A half-percent at retailers... one-percent at restaurants... and a two-percent increase on hotel taxes.

I talked to long-time Mayor Gail Mitchell about this.  He says while nobody's happy about having to do this to make up for a $3-million deficit, there's really no controversy over it.

"They understand it.  Everybody understands it..." says Mitchell. "We've got to do it.  We aren't going to put the tax on the people, the real estate tax.  This way everybody coming into the city, eating here or staying overnight will pay the extra penny (on the dollar)."

Mayor Mitchell says the sales tax increase should generate enough revenue to get the city through its budgets the next few years, but there are going to have to be some spending cuts, too.

"We don't know what we're going to cut yet," the Mayor told me.  "We have yet to get into that.   That's the personel committee and we have not met on that yet, but there will be some cuts somewhere."

Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.

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