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Mundelein, IL, Board Rejects Self-Storage Sales Tax After Opposition From Industry Associations

The Mundelein, Illinois, Village Board rejected a 5% sales tax on self-storage rentals last week after receiving strong opposition from the Illinois Self Storage Association (ISSA) and national Self Storage Association (SSA). The fee would have been attached to the gross rental rate of each unit and paid monthly by tenants. Facility operators would have been responsible for submitting payments to the village every quarter, according to a source.

The board voted 4-2 against the measure. Trustee Kerston Russell said he initially supported the tax but ultimately determined it was unfair. “At some point, we’re taxing people over and over and over again,” Russell said during the meeting. “It’s a compounding effect.”

On July 8, Joe Doherty, senior vice president and chief legal and legislative officer for the ISSA and SSA, sent a letter to village administrator Eric Guenther outlining the associations’ objections to the tax. Doherty accused village officials of “bait-and-switch” tactics against existing storage operators, as they approved those businesses knowing they wouldn’t generate sales tax. He also argued the proposed fee would violate the state constitution and place an unfair burden on tenants.

“An additional 5% tax on the rental of self-storage space is an unfair burden to place on lower-to-middle income residents of your community, who may already be facing personal and financial difficulties,” Doherty wrote. “This cannot be the result that the village leaders want.”

Doherty also pointed out that other Illinois cities, including Evanston, Oak Lawn and Wilmette, had recently rejected similarly proposed taxes on self-storage rentals.

The ISSA is a non-profit association committed to strengthening and enhancing the self-storage industry in Illinois. It focuses on education, networking opportunities and legislative efforts.

The SSA represents about 22,000 U.S. and international member-affiliated self-storage facilities, according to its website. It’s allied with several state and international self-storage associations and has about 6,000.

Sources:
Daily Herald, Mundelein Board Rejects Self-Storage Rental Fee
SSA Magazine Weekly 7/19/21, SSA and IL-SSA Team Up to Defeat Storage Tax in Illinois Suburb

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