Machesney Park gas & electric bills could go up but don't - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Machesney Park gas & electric bills could go up but don't blame the cold weather

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Village President Tom Strickland Village President Tom Strickland

Machesney Park residents might start seeing higher gas and electric bills, but the cold weather isn't to blame. Tuesday evening, village trustees vote on a 5% utility tax increase. Supporters say the money raised will be used to improve and build roads as well as enhance policing.

Village President Tom Strickland thinks this tax increase could do a lot of good, but he says it's not the right time; the economy needs recovery and people need more financial stability. Strickland's getting that same opinion overwhelmingly from more than 100 residents.

"There isn't anybody who's for this tax and I have had so many people tell me if [village trustees] pass this tax, they won't vote for the road referendum the next time around." -he says.

Unlike the 1% sales tax increase voters approved 10 months ago, residents don't get to decide on raised electric & gas bill costs.

"When you call it a utility tax then you don't have to have a referendum you don't have to have the people's OK." -says Strickland.

But there is a rebate program included for low income families.

"If they make a certain amount of money they can get their money back." -Strickland says.

Whether for or against, Strickland strongly advises residents to let leaders know how you feel before they vote by completing a public comment form.

"Fill it out give it to the Village Clerk before 6 p.m. Tuesday, it has to go in before the board meeting starts."

To learn more about the rebate program and to see if you qualify, Village Administrator Tim Savage will be giving a presentation at Tuesday's Administration and Finance Committee meeting.

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