Residents of the City of Burlington are being asked to approve a 1 percent increase in sales tax in the upcoming municipal election on Tuesday, April 5.
If approved, the money collected from the increase will be used exclusively for constructing, maintaining, rebuilding and improving streets and alleys, including pedestrian, biking, utility and drainage improvements.
As the ballot language is written, the increase of 1% in sales tax, cannot be used for any other purpose.
Burlington has one of the lowest property tax rates in the state. The levy is only 8.6 mills and it has been at that number for at least 45 years.
Commenting on the increase in sales tax, Mayor Greg Swiatkowski said, “We certainly hope the voters approve the sales tax issue for new construction and maintaining streets.
“We all know our streets are in dire need of improvement. The passage of the sales tax increase will provide the necessary funding to make these improvements over a period of years.”
Swiatkowski then said, “The increase would generate approximately $700,000 in additional revenue each year for the streets. Since we have around 31.5 miles of streets within the city limits, it is going to take an extended period of time to have all streets and alleys in excellent condition.
“If the issue passes, we will be changing our present maintenance program and expand it considerably.”
He concluded by saying, “If anyone has any questions about the proposed increase in sales tax, I encourage them to contact me, City Administrator Jim Keehne, or any council member.
“The issue is relatively straightforward: a yes vote is in favor of increasing the sales tax by 1% to be used only for streets; a no vote means one does not want the sales tax increased.”
Current city council members are Mark Burghart, Kamron Weisshaar, Melvin Gilley, Adrian Hernandez, Troy Schultz and Brent Carter.