Voters in the City of Vandalia will get to decide on a half-percent sales tax increase, as the Vandalia City Council approved at a special meeting on Monday night to place the issue on the November ballot. Originally, the plan was to approve putting a half percent sales tax on the ballot. And, if approved by voters, the money would all be used for the Police Pension Fund. But, Alderman Steve Barker proposed a change in that. Barker proposed using one-quarter of the potential sales increase for the Police Pension Fund and then the other one-quarter for infrastructure. Currently, the city has a half-percent of sales tax going to infrastructure. So, if approved, this would put .75% of the sales tax to infrastructure and the other .25% towards the Police Pension fund. The increased funding for infrastructure will be needed as the City of Vandalia has a couple of very large projects coming in the near future. Earlier in the meeting, Mayor Rick Gottman commented that the City’s Water Plant is beyond it’s useful life and the city has been talking for the past few years about a new plant–and that would cost between 15 and 25 million dollars. Mayor Gottman also mentioned that a new Sewer Plant will be needed in the next 10 years. And, a new Sewer Plant will cost between 15 and 30 million dollars.
Alderman B. John Clark pointed out that a sales tax is a “fair” tax—and that’s because everyone pays the sales tax, not just property owners. And, Clark pointed out it also taxes those who stop in Vandalia and make purchases. The matter was approved by the Vandalia City Council and the .5% increase in sale tax will appear on the November ballot.