Shoppers will pay even more to shop at a popular suburban mall.
Skokie Village Council on Monday approved an additional 1% sales tax for the Old Orchard shopping centre.
The tax, according to village officials, is intended to “help modernize and revitalize the center”. Council members called the property “rundown”, saying more funds were needed to revitalize the mall.
Additional sales tax will be added to purchases made at the mall, bringing the rate for retailers to 11.25%. For restaurants, the figures climb to 13.25%.
Officials said the jump would bring more than $100 million to the resort over 23 years.
The village said revenue from the tax would go directly to Westfield, the private company that owns the mall, as well as more than 100 malls around the world. Westfield will then be responsible for upgrades, including the center’s HVAC system, fire suppression, electrical, common areas and landscaping, among other projects.
The outdoor mall’s tax revenue has plummeted in recent months as many shift to shopping online rather than in person.
Major stores have also left the mall, including Lord & Taylor, Barnes & Noble and, more recently announced, Amazon.
Typically, Old Orchard generates about $50 million a year in sales taxes. In 2020, that number fell to $36 million due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it hasn’t rebounded since.
The Skokie Village Council approved the new tax almost unanimously, with only one administrator voting against.