Channahon Village President Breaks Tie on Telecommunications Tax

In a rare occurrence Monday night, Channahon Village Board members split on vote.

In the end, it all came down to one vote. And, that one vote, delivered by  President Joe Cook, was aye.

"Being that we have to get it done to inform, I say yes," he said after voting yes.

At question was whether the village should move forward and inform the Department of Revenue that its intends to implement a telecommunications tax. The maximum a municipality can assess is 6 percent. assesses 5 percent while neighboring Shorewood assesses 3.5 percent.

The village began talking about a a couple of months ago in an effort to add new revenues to the village. The village has had to enter its reserves to pay for operating costs and officials do not want to continue to do that.

That was one of the reasons Trustee Debbie Militello voted no.

"As an individual, I did everything I could to stay afloat, including going into reserves," she said of a time she was unemployed.

She added that she did not feel that the village had looked at all its options.

Efforts to Reduce Budget

The village has made a number of changes in the last few months to try to lower its expenses. At Monday night's meeting, Channahon Police Chief and Village Manager Joe Pena highlighted a couple.

"All department heads have taken five furlough days," he said. "I'm actually assuming a dual role at no cost to the village."

Channahon resident Karin Smith spoke at the meeting and pointed out that while the village is talking about a small amount of money — an estimated $34 per bill per person per year — that is too much in this economy. She said in her subdivision alone, which has only 12 houses, she has two households with residents commuting to other states for work and one foreclosure. She said she does not have cable television because it does not fit into her budget and she is concerned about the senior citizens who need phones in their homes for safety.

"That's undue stress to our families," she said. "I think we're being taxed out."

The vote Monday night was simply to inform the Department of Revenue of the village's intentions. It was not to implement the tax. Trustees Militello, Judie Nash and Scott Slocum voted no.

William September 21, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Why did they build a $100K parking lot at the south campus high school?? Is that really needed??/?/..............C'mon who are these people kidding???
Bob September 21, 2011 at 11:52 AM
Great job Cook you had the deciding vote on a tax increase for the village, but you refuse to pay your own taxes
Christine September 21, 2011 at 12:05 PM
That's an interesting point, Bob.
Christine September 21, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Great, a new tax. There are so many homes in foreclosure right now, the few of us that are left will bear this burden. And, it's not the money ($34 per year), it's the principle. How many different ways and how many times can we say it? Cut back (more) like the rest of us have.
William September 21, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Also why does the village need a mini van to go on shopping sprees with???or haul kids around in??..............Who's wife has that priviledge???
Jim Devereux September 21, 2011 at 01:14 PM
I found the timing of the parking lot at the south campus odd since the main lot is usually just more than half full, but after asking about it I found out it was money the school already had and needed to spend or lose future state money. The village really has nothing to do with that.
Mike September 21, 2011 at 01:48 PM
William - I think you need to look into the different taxing bodies. The schools are not the village, nor is the park district (whom I assume owns the van you mentioned).
Opinionated September 21, 2011 at 04:28 PM
I would like a list from our corrupt mayor on the steps Channahon has taken to reduce expenditures. What steps have been taken in the past 5 years to encourage or draw new businesses to Channahon? What steps have been taken to leverage the truck traffic for revenue? Minooka has adapted, are our leaders so inept they cannot at the very least follow someone else's lead? Its obvious they are not trailblazers or innovators, but a little common sense goes a long way.
William September 21, 2011 at 11:34 PM
Mike, I don't care if it was the village or the President of the United States who authorized a huge additional parking lot that is NOT necessary for the operation of that school. I am paying for that lot through my property taxes. And for your information that white Chrysler mini-van has a municipal plate on it and a Village of Channahon placard on it. It is being used as a personal vehichle paid for and maintained by the Village of Channahon. Who authorizes stuff like that???
William September 21, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Ok then, Use it or loose it real smart............spent the money on something that is not neccessary.............GOOD THINKIN
Jim Devereux September 22, 2011 at 01:13 AM
William, the parking lot may not be necessary at the moment, but the plan is for the south campus to be its own school in the future. All that open area behind the school will be athletic fields. So that lot will be necessary to support sporting events as well as the juniors and seniors driving to school. Being that they were "use it or lose it funds" I don't see a problem with getting it done now.
Tim September 23, 2011 at 07:44 PM
only in channahon can someone still think that non-stop expansion is the rule. In case you haven't noticed yet, the entire country has experienced an incredible slowdown and/or retreat in growth. The conservative estimate, is that the level of growth that was 'planned for' that you bring up, will not be returning for about 20 years. Now, the funds might well have been use it or lose it, but where are the funds going to come from to maintain it over the years until it is actually needed and used? The money fairy?
Jim Devereux September 23, 2011 at 08:04 PM
Tim, Please point out where I used the words growth or expansion or even bring that up. All I mentioned is the plan to split at some point. If they don't use what the government calls "use it or lose it" funds then that money can't be put towards something else in 2012. Maybe that would cut something you may consider more important than the parking lot. If we just completely cut spending on stuff like that it cuts jobs and in turn drags the economy even more.
William September 23, 2011 at 11:07 PM
Yep more good thinkin...........print more money for things that aren't needed ............OH How about that wall on I-55...........more USE IT OR LOOSE IT money coming out of thin air...........What is REALLY dragging down this economy? Not enough TAX BASED work or OVERTAXATION AND DEFICITS??? More GOOD OLE BOY ideas.........Should I continue???..........This economy will never turn around with this kind of idiocrity
Michael September 27, 2011 at 01:25 AM
I'm calling for Joe Cook to step aside until all financial matters have been resolved involving him and the village. The village should also be audited to account for all monies spent.


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