MT. VERNON — The Mt. Vernon City Council approved a home rule sales tax increase at a special meeting on Thursday night at the Rolland Lewis Building.
The increase of 1 percent raises the city sales tax to 9.25 percent. The increase was passed to eliminate the existing meter fee on city water and sewer customers. The changes will take effect at the beginning of the new year on Jan. 1, 2018.
The idea of a sales tax to replace the meter fee was first discussed at a council workshop on Sept. 15. At that time the Utility Committee had already studied the water and sewer infrastructure and identified several immediate needs, such as, water tower maintenance and replacements, sewer lift station replacements, sewer line replacement and relining.
The council felt that a sales tax increase would ease the burden on those less able to pay the meter fee each month. In order to receive tax receipts as of Jan. 1 the council had to move quickly and have the tax increase approved by Oct. 1.