The Village of Oswego may adopt a real estate transfer tax

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OSWEGO, IL — On upcoming Election Day, June 28, local voters will see an additional question on their ballot asking for approval of a one-time real estate transfer tax. If passed, people buying property in Oswego will have to pay a small fee.

Under the proposed tax, people who buy residential or commercial properties in Oswego would pay the village 0.3% – or $3 per $1,000 – of the purchase price. For example, the transfer tax on a property with a purchase price of $300,000 would be $900.

Transfer tax differs from standard property tax, as it would be a one-time fee levied on the transfer of property or title deed from one person to another. Oswego would join neighboring towns of Aurora, Bolingbrook, Naperville, Joliet and Romeoville which also have a transfer tax.

Current homeowners buying a new home in Oswego would be exempt from the tax if they have lived in their unit for a year or more, village officials said.

If approved, the tax could take effect as early as August 1, officials said. The money, the village says, could help fund Oswego’s connection to a new water source: Lake Michigan, through the DuPage Water Commission.

RELATED: Oswego Drinking Water Supply May Run Out By 2050: Village

As a village with self-governing status, Oswego has the option of placing a referendum question on a ballot to impose the transfer tax, according to Illinois law. Oswego Village Council unanimously approved the addition of the ballot issue at its April 5 regular meeting in hopes of easing the burden on current residents, officials said.

Village chairman Troy Parlier said the new tax would be “only fair” because “current residents have been asked to bear the burden for too long”.

“We want to ease the burden on Oswego residents paying property taxes and find another source of funding to bring clean water to our community,” Parlier said in a statement. “If passed, a real estate transfer tax will help shift the burden onto future residents and businesses who purchase property in our community.”

Officials expect the tax to generate more than $500,000 a year, and without it, they expect the amount to come from increased water rates.

The money would be used “for construction and maintenance of the Village of Oswego water system, including connection to Lake Michigan water, and reduction of future water rate increases” . The language of the question that will be asked on the ballots will limit the use of tax revenue to those items, according to village officials.

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