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Government

Glen Ellyn considers food and beverage tax to fund capital projects

New train station, pedestrian underpass one of proposed projects

A new train station and pedestrian underpass tunnel is just one of the projects Glen Ellyn officials hope to help fund with a proposed 1.5-percent food and beverage tax.
A new train station and pedestrian underpass tunnel is just one of the projects Glen Ellyn officials hope to help fund with a proposed 1.5-percent food and beverage tax.

GLEN ELLYN – A new train station and pedestrian underpass tunnel is just one of the projects Glen Ellyn officials hope to help fund with a proposed 1.5-percent food and beverage tax.

Officials have been holding community meetings to explain the proposal and answer questions. The third and final community meeting will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Galligan Room at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center, 535 Duane St., Glen Ellyn.

The tax is a proposed 1.5-percent tax on the purchase price of prepared food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that have been prepared for immediate consumption, and alcoholic beverages sold in their original container for consumption off premises.

For example, the tax would add 75 cents to a $50 bill at a restaurant, officials said. For a $15 case of beer purchased at a liquor store, 23 cents would be added to the bill.

Products that would be exempt include common grocery items like milk, eggs and frozen foods that are sold in their original packaging. Items sold by a nonprofit group, including government entities, hospitals and medical treatment facilities, also would be exempt.

The tax is expected to generate between $825,000 and $1.2 million on an annual basis. If approved by the Glen Ellyn Village Board, the tax would be implemented March 1, 2019.

Officials are looking to replace the aging train station, which was built in the 1960s, and make it easier for pedestrians to cross the railroad tracks that cut through the middle of the downtown. The project is estimated to cost between $2 million and $5 million, and it is one of several capital projects officials hope to help fund with the proposed tax.

Another project officials hope to fund is a four- to five-level parking garage that would be built in the parking lot of the Civic Center. Officials want to add 300 to 375 new parking spaces in the downtown to address commuter, employee and customer parking demands.

Other projects the proposed tax would fund include downtown streetscape improvements and renovations to the Civic Center.

Village trustees plan to discuss the tax at a workshop meeting Aug. 27 and vote on the proposal at their Sept. 24 meeting.

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