In their response to the Village of Riverside’s survey, residents told us that taking care of the village’s 32 miles of streets was a high priority. You don’t have to drive very far in Riverside to find streets that are in need of repair because the village does not have adequate funds.

Fortunately, the State passed a law permitting smaller towns, like Riverside, to increase the local sales tax up to 1 percent if approved by the voters. Larger communities like Berwyn, Oak Park and Chicago already have this sales tax.

If you vote “yes” on the March 21 Riverside sales tax referendum, the village will devote all of the new sales tax to improving our streets and sidewalks.

Good news is that a large part of this tax is expected to be paid by non-residents, when they use the gas stations on Harlem Avenue and make purchases in the Riverside portion of the Brookfield Zoo.

More good news is that the new tax will not apply to drugs, or food purchased in a grocery store.

Important! Due to legal requirements the referendum question on the ballot will refer to “municipal retailers occupation tax, service occupation tax and use tax.” Don’t be confused?”those technical terms really refer to what we commonly call a sales tax.

Let’s vote “yes” so the village will have streets that we can be proud of.

Bill Scanlon

 Bill Scanlon is a Riverside village trustee.