Council Keeps Sales Tax, Votes ‘Yes’ to Avenida Development

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For now, Naperville’s home rule sales tax will remain at .5 percent.

After several discussions about raising the tax to as much as one percent, council voted 5-4 to keep the tax the same until at least the end of 2019.

Several residents spoke against raising the tax, saying it puts local businesses at a disadvantage.

“As a pro business organization we cannot and will not support a tax increase because of the burden it places on businesses either through online competition or now neighboring communities,” said Nicki Anderson, Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO.

Councilwomen Judy Brodhead, Becky Anderson and Rebecca Boyd-Obarski and Mayor Steve Chirico voted against keeping the tax at .5 percent.

Obarski said she is concerned not increasing the tax will lead to tax increases elsewhere.

“I don’t want to box us in [so] that our only lever is property taxes then,” said Obarski.

The council was considering raising the tax to cover increased budget costs including pensions and road maintenance.

Also at the meeting, council gave the go-ahead to the Avenida Senior Living Development proposed for the southwest corner of Mill Street and Commons Road.

Several speakers voiced concerns that the project requires variances from city code including allowing more units and fewer parking spaces than normal for such a complex.

“The underlying message that Naperville might be sending to future developers is that we might bend over backwards to get their business,” said one resident. “While variances do not change the law, they open up the potential for future developers and as the mayor said possibly make a precedent that we would not like to agree with.”

But others spoke of a need for such a community in Naperville.

“They don’t provide meals, so it’s an interim,” said another resident. “It fills a niche that we don’t have here.”

Council voted 6-3 to allow the senior living facility to be built with Gustin, Obarski and Anderson voting ‘no.’

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.