Transform Rockford

Transform Rockford to host sales tax forum April 4

Sales taxes will be the focus of a forum hosted by Transform Rockford at 5:30 p.m. April 4 at the Nordlof Center. Admission is free.

Transform Rockford understands taxing bodies need money to pay for the things that residents want and need. However, how can the general public see how its money is being spent and how can the average citizen hold officials accountable?

Transform Rockford’s goal is to provide residents with the information they need to become engaged citizens and determine whether money is being spent as intended and whether it aligns with the community’s vision and values. 

“You want people to leave feeling like there is something they can do to make their public sector perform better or to contribute to their community.”said Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. Martire will moderate the discussion.

Do residents think they’re getting value for the money? What would they change? How do additional taxes affect business owners, especially those who sell big-ticket items where an extra 1 percent can add up to a lot of money. Does it affect how they grow their business? What keeps them here?

Panelists include Andy Benson, owner/president of Benson Stone Co.; Greg Brown, chief financial officer for Rockford Public Schools; Staci Brown, a realtor who has a history of community service; and Carrie Haggerty, finance director for the city of Rockford; and Jason Holcomb of the Region 1 Planning Council who is a director on the Winnebago County Mental Health Board. Another panelist may be added.

For more information contact Wally Haas,, 815-262-4891

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