Self-Storage Associations and Operators Combat Sales-Tax Hike in River Grove, IL

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The national Self Storage Association (SSA) and Illinois Self Storage Association (ISSA) are working with storage operators in the Village of River Grove, Ill., to combat a 4 percent sales-tax hike that goes into affect Jan. 1. The SSA contends the industry was not given an opportunity to comment on the tax prior to the measure being adopted in June. Operators Public Storage Inc. and The Lock Up Self Storage were first notified of the tax change when they received “essentially an invoice and a demand” to begin administering the tax, SSA officials said.

River Grove is the third Illinois town in the last five years to try to raise sales tax on self-storage, although the previous two attempts ultimately were not implemented, SSA officials said. “The SSA does not typically have the resources to battle local issues, but the state of Illinois' ‘hands-off’ home rule structure has provided significant latitude to small towns, or villages in this case,” the association said in its weekly e-mail newsletter.

The SSA, ISSA and affected self-storage operators have contacted River Grove officials to try to initiate a dialogue over the issue.

The town implemented a 1 percent sales tax increase this year that went into effect July 1. The combined sales tax rate in River Grove is 10 percent. In May, the Illinois Department of Revenue issued a sales-tax rate-change summary for businesses in affected jurisdictions through an “Informational Bulletin.”

“By promoting new sources of retail sales-tax revenue, we expect to alleviate the tax burden on our many residential property owners,” town officials said in an economic-development statement on the River Grove website.

Based in Chicago, The Lock Up currently operates 13 self-storage facilities in Illinois and has 29 locations in eight states comprising more than 1.6 million square feet.

Based in Glendale, Calif., Public Storage has interests in more than 2,110 self-storage facilities in 38 states with approximately 135 million net rentable square feet. Operating under the Shurgard brand name, the company also has 188 facilities in seven European countries, with approximately 10 million net rentable square feet.

ISSA provides members government advocacy, education and business services, including a legal-information service and credit card processing.

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