Oswego to ask voters to OK real estate transfer tax to fund new water source

Referendum will appear on June 28 primary election ballot

The Oswego Village Board has placed a referendum on the June 28 ballot seeking voter approval to create a real estate transfer tax.

If voters pass the measure, the village will levy the tax at a rate of $3 on every $1,000 of home value at the time of sale.

Village officials plan to use revenues from the tax to help pay for switching the village’s water supply to Lake Michigan water.

The tax would be included in closing costs on new-home purchases. Current Oswego residents moving within village limits would be exempt from the tax.

The board voted to place the referendum on the ballot during a meeting April 5.

Village President Troy Parlier first proposed the tax during his annual State of the Village address Feb 14, suggesting it would provide a way to help pay for new infrastructure such as Lake Michigan water sourcing without putting the tax burden on current village residents.

The board, in turn, reached consensus to place the referendum before voters during a March 15 Committee of the Whole meeting. During that meeting, board member Kit Kuhrt said that he would like to see the amount of the tax raised.