Mayoral candidate unveils plan to lower property taxes

Phil Goodwin began walking neighborhoods discussing his property tax reduction plan this past weekend. (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – Mayoral Candidate Phil Goodwin has announced a plan to lower property taxes for residents using new sales tax revenue generated at local businesses. The plan is one part of what Goodwin is calling his Nine Point Prosperity Plan.

“The number one concern of residents in O’Fallon is tax relief. O’Fallon homeowners have helped grow our city through their property tax contributions to be the number one destination for families and businesses to locate. Now is the time for them to get a return on their investment,” Goodwin said.

The plan calls for the City Council to pass an ordinance that dedicates 20 percent of all new sales tax revenue to reduce the city’s property tax levy each year. Over the last three years the City of O’Fallon has been able to generate an additional $718,568 in sales tax revenue due to new businesses that have located in O’Fallon and increased traffic to existing businesses. Over the last decade, O’Fallon has added major retailers such as Menard’s, Gander Mountain, and Academy Sports, which have helped to drive the growth of sales tax revenue.

“The strong economic development efforts of our city have netted positive results to our city’s resources. As Mayor, I plan to continue those efforts so we can generate more sales tax revenue and provide greater property tax relief every year,” said Goodwin. “I am the only candidate for Mayor with a real plan to reduce property taxes in our city. This is a responsible plan which will provide relief to homeowners both now and in the future.”

Since 2013, the city’s sales tax revenue has been increased by 10.05 percent from $6.91 million to $7.63 million in 2016. Based on the current trend, the city is on pace to generate an additional 3.75 to four percent each year, growing another 12 to 16 percent by 2021.

“The city is expecting to have an increase of nearly 250,000 new visitors to O’Fallon each year with the opening of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in the fall,” said Goodwin. “More traffic to our city means more buyers in our stores and more sales tax revenue. Under my plan, the more sales tax revenue, the greater the property tax relief.”

“This is a win-win for the homeowners of O’Fallon and the growth of our city. It allows for property tax relief and additional revenue to keep moving our city’s economic development efforts moving forward,” he continued.

Goodwin said his plan came after reviewing the city’s finances.

“The idea just made sense looking at the finances of the city. We’ve had a good increase in sales taxes coming in. I feel if we’re getting excess money from businesses, we should be able to return it to taxpayers,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said he plans to roll out the details of the remaining eight planks of his Nine Point Prosperity Plan as the campaign moved forward. Speaking generally, the plan calls for 1.) Responsible Fiscal Management to provide Tax Relief, 2.) Continued Economic Development, 3.) Maintaining and Growing Home Values, 4.) Continued Investment in Infrastructure, 5.) Supporting High Quality Education, 6.) Ensuring a Safe and Secure Community, 7.) Providing Accessible and Quality Parks and Recreation, 8.) Increased Community Involvement, and 9.) Professional Management of the City.