A bipartisan proposal championed by Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) and State Senators Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) to give counties that pass public safety sales tax referendums additional flexibility in directing use of new revenue generated by the tax was signed into law recently.
The proposal, House Bill 5460, expands the “Special County Retailers’ Occupation Tax for Public Safety, Public Facilities or Transportation” to allow counties to use funding generated by the new tax to fund mental health and substance abuse services.
“This gives our local governments additional flexibility to combat drug abuse and effectively help those with mental issues,” said Senator Syverson. “This will enhance public safety and hopefully help many individuals who are currently falling through the cracks.”
The Special County Retailers’ Occupation Tax for Public Safety, Public Facilities or Transportation was first created as a tax that county boards could levee if approved by local referendum. It can be only be used for purposes related to public safety, public facilities or transportation.
“Mental health and substance abuse are among the most overlooked issues facing our state, and they both directly impact our public safety,” Stadelman said. “This new law gives local governments another tool to tackle the challenges facing our communities.”
The legislation was signed into law Friday, Jan. 4 and was effective upon signing.