Patch Election Q&A: Matt Brolley on Question #4
Matt Brolley's answer to our fourth question.
What are your thoughts on a vehicle sticker system, such as the one Evanston uses, that would impose a “wheel tax” on vehicle owners? More broadly, how do you feel about increasing taxes on village residents?
I was at the meeting when a vehicle sticker system was first suggested. This arose from concerns that the State of Illinois would be reducing the amount of state shared revenue to all municipalities. This would have meant a significant revenue drop for Montgomery, thus staff suggested the vehicle stickers to bridge that gap.
The board members at this committee meeting made the correct choice to deny the creation of a sticker program. As we now know, Governor Quinn did not follow through with this threat/promise. It is my understanding that Montgomery is not currently considering any such program.
Initially, I was against any vehicle sticker program, due to the additional burden it would place on our residents. After reviewing the City of Evanston program, as requested, I have a greater distaste for such a program. Their program not only hits the residential vehicles, but any industrial or commercial vehicles as well. Being that Montgomery has a large amount of industrial and distribution centers, this is exactly the opposite of being business friendly.
In a perfect world, Montgomery residents indicate desirable programs and the quantity and quality of services provided by the Village. The Board then enacts this vision, and staff implements it. If revenues can’t cover the cost, it’s time to consider cutting programs, or ask the residents if a ‘tax’ increase is warranted to fund their needs. I can’t imagine any candidate indicating their desire for tax increases. In the worst times since the great depression, that should be the farthest thing from our minds.