Pritzker’s proposal to eliminate grocery tax has Elburn officials scrambling

Even when certain grocery items are marked up to the fullest, there are ways to save if you’re careful with your planning and shopping.

Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to permanently eliminate the grocery tax has Elburn officials scrambling to figure out how to make up a $118,000 shortfall in the 2024-25 fiscal budget.

Pritzker suspended the grocery tax on a temporary basis during the pandemic. Now, with the cost of groceries still at higher prices, the governor plans to keep the tax on hold.

The village had implemented a 1% “places to eat” tax on prepared food and beverages as of Dec. 1, 2023, to provide part of the funding for a new police station after a referendum failed last spring to raise property taxes to pay for it.

Finance Director Doug Elder then established a bonding authority to allow the village to sell bonds to help pay for the building. A financial analysis on the bond sale to pay to expand the Village Hall building at the lower cost of $6 million found it would require an annual payment plan of $469,000 over 20 years.

Village President Jeff Walter said that even with the smaller-in-scope project, a 1% increase in the places to eat tax likely would be needed, from an additional 1% to 2%.

If the grocery tax goes away, the village will have to explore other alternatives as well, Walter said.

“A lot of people were upset about the elimination of the grocery tax,” Walter said.

He said mayors of towns all over the state are trying to figure out how they will continue to support the quality of services they provide with an unplanned for decrease in their budgets.

The tentative annual budget for fiscal 2024-25 is on the village’s website ( for the public to review and ask questions. There will be a public hearing at the village board’s regularly scheduled meeting April 1 after which the board will review and vote on the budget.

There will be a new single-use fund set up to track revenue and expenses for the Village Hall expansion of the police department, Elder said.

The increase to the places to eat tax also is on the agenda for the April 1 meeting.