The Joliet City Council approved a 0.5 percent sales tax on a 5 to 4 vote in favor last week, which will bring the rate from 1.25 percent to 1.75 percent. The tax hike will be effective 1 January 2012.
Joliet has home rule authority in Illinois to increase its taxes on specific items, such as prepared food. The tax will be as high as 10% in the portion of Joliet that is in Kendall County due to a public safety sales tax that is also levied there. In addition, Joliet also levies its own prepared food and beverage sales tax of 1%.
The tax increase will apply to general merchandise, alcohol, soft drinks and prepared food. It will not apply to groceries, prescription and non-prescription drugs, medical appliances, milk, gasoline, the sale of vehicles that are titled or registered or to hotels and motels which have a separate tax of 7%. Officials have stated that the increase should not hurt business as the increase is relatively small.