Illinois Student Senate undecided on sales tax issue

By Jill Disis

On April 7, a referendum to raise sales tax in Champaign County by one percent will once again be up for voting.

The referendum, previously defeated in November’s general election, will provide school districts in the area with $1 million in revenue if passed.

The Illinois Student Senate encouraged students to vote against the referendum in the fall. Carlos Rosa, sophomore in LAS and senate member, said the Senate created Facebook groups and notices to oppose the measure. In the fall, Sean Mills, co-chair of the Senate’s governmental affairs committee, said property owners in Champaign will get a rebate from the tax, but students do not generally own property. Students will have to pay the sales tax but will not get the rebate that other residents will receive, he said.

Community members on both sides of the issue have spoken with Senate members and no formal opinion has been adopted yet. As of today, no resolution has been introduced into the Senate, Rosa said.

“Our government affairs committee has been looking into it,” Rosa said.

Rosa said as a result of the discussions with concerned citizens and various political party members, some senators have been reassessing their position.

Rosa said the issue is something students need to decide on themselves, as it will affect those that go to major shopping areas during their time at the University.

“It’s something students need to assess,” he said.