City Approves Liquor Tax And Public Safety Pension Fee

Alpha Media/Ed Hammond

(From 25 News)–If you head to the grocery store and notice your favorite liquor bottle costs more, that is because the city is trying to close the $6 million deficit.

The Peoria City Council approved a 2-percent packaged liquor tax increase Monday night.

Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich said this tax will provide $700,000 in new revenue annually to the city.

But local retailers say the tax will negatively impact their business as customers may be turned off by it.

“We’ve already had customers tell us from out of town that they’re not coming down if they pass the two percent. they would rather buy it somewhere else instead of support the city, so all of that is gonna effect us. You can travel just across the river and make a purchase and save yourself $2.50 on a case of wine right off the top,” UFS Store Manager Gerard Wiengand said.

The council also passed a public safety pension fee that will impact property owners depending on their square footage.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis implored the horseshoe to pass it because otherwise it would cause what he called a “massacre” to cuts in public safety.

Urich told 25 News the that city has limited options when it comes to the increasing pension fees.

“The other way would be to continue to cut services, and what we’ve as seen as far as the public out cry over this budget is that when we start talking about cutting services, people are very upset about the fact that we’re cutting services. We either have the ability to cut services or we have to raise revenues,” Urich said.

During the meeting Urich said if the council did not approve this fee they would indeed see more cuts to police and fire.

The council approved the fee by a vote of 6-5, though it does come with a sunset provision, meaning it expires in three years.

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