Telecommunications Tax Draws Crowd to Channahon Meeting
Channahon meeting was standing room only, but only three residents addressed the board.
It was standing room only at the Channahon Village Board meeting Tuesday night as residents turned out to learn more about a proposed telecommunications tax.
No one asked about the pending litigation facing the town or Village President Joe Cook.
The committee of the whole meeting, which preceded the regular board meeting, opened with the board adjourning into closed session to address pending litigation. It was unclear whether or not board members addressed a lawsuit the Regional Transportation Authority filed against the village or the federal filing against Cook, who is accused of not filing federal income taxes between 2006 and 2008.
Cook said after the meeting Tuesday that he was unable to comment on the federal filing. But, he said the village would fight the RTA suit.
"We are going to fight the litigation that Chicago and the RTA has imposed on this village," he said.
Residents in attendance, though, had questions about the consideration for a telecommunications tax. The board was examining a possible 5 percent telecommunications tax.
"The main reason we're looking to move forward with the telecommunications tax is because we have to give notice," Channahon Police Chief Joe Pena said, acting in his role as interim village manager.
That notice must be given to the Illinois State Department of Revenue by Oct. 1. Diane Chesson spoke during the public comment section of the meeting and was concerned about the total impact of the proposed tax.
"If the telecommunications tax were imposed, would it include cellphones?" she asked.
Pena explained that it would include cellphones and would mean a cost of an additional $30 per year. He said the tax would be per bill, not per cellphone. He also explained that the village could not legally extend the tax above 6 percent. It also could evaluate the need of it in future years and scale it back or repeal it if it were found to be unnecessary in the future.
"It's an option that, in my humble opinion, needs to be considered as an additional revenue stream," Pena said.
Cook said the village has a window of opportunity and that window is now.
Board members will meet next at 6 p.m. Sept. 19.