Frankfort has moved to protect its cut of local car sales by annexing unincorporated land that is part of Currie Motors' lot.
"It's important to note that right now, it has cars on it that are being sold by the Ford dealership in town," Mayor Jim Holland said. "If those cars are sold from this property, then there's a question about the sales tax: Where does it go? If the property is in the village, there is no question – the sales tax revenue comes to the people of Frankfort."
Holland joined trustees at a recent meeting in approving the annexation 6-0 with Trustee Cindy Heath absent.
Village Administrator Jerry Ducay said Currie Motors rents the roughly 1-acre parcel at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 30 and 94th Avenue from a Florida man. While the annexation drew no opposition at the meeting, it was involuntary, a rarity for Frankfort.
"It's a small parcel that's been unincorporated for a long, long time, and I think it's strategic to the village to incorporate it at this point," Trustee Todd Morgan said. "(It's) a little unusual (compared) to what we've done in the past, but I think it's appropriate here."
Sales tax is the village's largest revenue source, about $5 million a year. Frankfort gets one penny of every 7 cents the state collects from the 7 percent rate charged in the village.
Collections remain on the upswing, with Frankfort receiving more than $457,000 in sales tax last month, or nearly 17 percent more than a year earlier.
"Consumer spending continues to boost sales tax revenues," Holland said. "Isn't that great to hear?"
Frankfort also saw an uptick in homebuilding. It issued 97 permits for new single-family homes last year, 22 more than in 2012. Holland said the increase continues a steady rise over the past three years that indicates healthy recovery from the 2008 market bottom.
The Village Board voted 5-0 to transfer ownership of the 15.6-acre Main Park to the Frankfort Park District, a move described as an overdue formality.
"We've held this property all these years," Trustee Dick Trevarthan said. "I suppose it's time we gave it to the park district."
Police Chief John Burica also sought to remind residents of two new state laws cracking down on excessive speeding and using a phone while driving.
"You cannot have your cellphone in your hand at any time while driving," Burica said. "One important part of this law is it's a moving violation now. Three moving violations and the (Illinois) secretary of state can suspend your license."
And, as of Jan. 1 driving more than 35 mph over the speed limit is a Class A misdemeanor, which comes with a trip to jail in Frankfort.
"Hopefully, we don't have those type of speeders coming through town," Burica said. "But if we do, they will be arrested."
Village Clerk Keith Ogle informed trustees of another new state law that allows 17 year olds who will turn 18 prior to the Nov. 4 general election to vote in the March 18 primary. The deadline to register to vote is Feb. 18.