DOWNERS GROVE - Voters in the 81st House District may be scratching their heads about a mailer sent out by State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) claiming "I have never voted to raise taxes. Not a rain tax, not any tax."
Sandack must be referring to votes while in the Illinois Senate and House, because as one taxpayer pointed out to Illinois Review, Sandack did support raising taxes on several occasions when he was mayor of Downers Grove.
Indeed Downers Grove city council minutes reveal that Mayor Sandack supported tax and fee increases at least seven times during his eight years as chief executive of Downers Grove:
- 12/21/2004- Sandack voted to raise aggregate tax levy 9% in one year and is quoted in meeting minutes: “They have Home Rules Sale Tax that will sunset by its own terms relatively soon. He has no intent to resurrect that tax.”
- 3/7/2006- Despite saying he had no intention to resurrect the tax that was phasing out, Sandack first voted to keep Home Rule Sales Tax instead of letting it sunset.
- 12/18/2007- Sandack voted again to raise Home Rule Sales Tax rate from 1/2% to 3/4%, a 50% hike.
- 12/15/2009- Sandack voted a third time to raise Home Rule Sales Tax rate from 3/4% to 1%, a 33% hike.
- 12/18/2007- Sandack voted to raise the local portion of telecommunications tax from 5% to 6%, planning to add $410,000 in 2008 and $820,000 in 2009 to residents' tax burden. Sandack is quoted in minutes: “This is the highest amount that can be taxed.”
- 8/3/2010- Sandack supported a labor contract with the 911 operators, a VOC contract that hikes pay as high as 8% in one year. Higher paid employees received bigger percentage pay raises, and one employee got 15.76% pay increases over a three year period starting in 2010, a year taxpayers saw their incomes shrink and their village property taxes go up over 5%. Sandack is quoted in minutes as saying “he thought the agreement to be fair and a good deal for all.”
- 4/13/2011- Sandack voted to approve a Consent Agenda that contained a $5,000 annual salary increase for Village Manager effective immediately and a $10,000 bonus in 2010 payable in two equal installments on October 1, 2011 and May 1, 2012. One news source reported several residents in attendance objected to the rushed payout on the consent agenda, and because they were told money did not exist for other budget items. Sandack said at meeting: “It is probably unhealthy to have a large debate about what we’re paying the village manager and invite a week or two of hearings on what we’re paying him.”
Sandack is being challenged by Downers Grove teacher Keith Matune in the March 18th GOP primary.