Lake County’s Infrastructure Sales Tax dates back to 1988, when it was established for a term of 15 years. Money was generated by charging 7 percent tax on most purchases in the county instead of the 6 percent charged by the state. That increase, from 6 percent to 7 percent, is often dubbed “the penny sales tax.”
At first, the money was shared only among the county and its cities. Then in 2001, Lake County Schools was added as a recipient. The district pointed to the need for new schools to accommodate a growing student population and the need for repairs and additions at several aging schools. By nearly 2 to 1, voters supported continuing the tax and giving the schools a third of the revenue for those projects.
On Nov. 3, voters will decide whether to extend the penny sales tax for another 15 years (from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2032) or allow it to expire on Dec. 31, 2017.