This letter is from Ed Dowd, Executive Director, Mattoon Chamber of Commerce
“One of the roles of the Chamber of Commerce is to help keep members informed of legislative issues that pertain to their business operations. Some of these issues also apply to the general public. We thought we would review some of this information. The Mattoon Chamber has received many inquiries from our member businesses regarding the new tax laws that will be implemented soon. There are two recent changes to taxes that relate to local businesses. The first of these has an impact on retail businesses and consumers as well. The second tax involves increases to real estate taxes on commercial properties in all of Coles County.
The Chamber has received the most questions from members regarding the timing of the 1% sales tax increase. Effective July 1, 2017 the new 1% sales tax on general merchandise will increase from 6.75% to 7.75% for all of Coles County other than tax districts including the Cross County Mall area which will increase from 7.75% to 8.75%. As a reminder, this increase was voted on by the citizens of the County and passed during the November elections. The locally imposed tax is similar to all other general merchandise taxes. Items that are excluded from the tax include most qualifying food items, drugs and medical appliances, along with other items specified in the referendum.
All retail and business establishments impacted by the 1% sales tax increase should receive an informational brochure from the State of Illinois Department of Revenue in May of 2017 summarizing the sales tax rate change. Businesses can verify their new specific rates as of July 1, 2017 by going to the tax rate database at tax.illinois.gov and select rates for July 2017.
The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce has also received many inquiries regarding the change in assessed values and its impact on local businesses. In 2016 a county wide reassessment of commercial, industrial, and multi-unit dwellings was initiated. No formal commercial property reassessment has occurred in over fifteen years. Based on a resolution passed by the County Board in 2015, Mattoon Township was the first in a four year reassessment cycle. The local businesses in Mattoon Township had to file appeals by December 28th of last year to challenge the increase. According to the Coles County Assessor’s Office approximately 20% of the affected businesses filed appeals. Charleston and Lafayette Townships will be reassessed this year similar to Mattoon Township. The notices of increases will go out and the new rates will be published in November of this year and by statute businesses will have 30 days to appeal. Homeowners in Mattoon will need to wait until they receive their tax bills this summer to determine how they are affected by the commercial reassessments.
The Mattoon Chamber is always in touch with the Illinois Chamber who monitors legislation that relates to our members and Mattoon in general. We also have a volunteer who helps us monitor these issues and report relevant information to Chamber members and the public. We will continue to keep our Members and the community up to date on legislative information whether local, state or nationwide.”
Ed Dowd, Executive Director
Mattoon Chamber of Commerce