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Homewood again suspends its tax collection on restaurants, bars

The Homewood village board approved a second round of relief for local bars and restaurants affected by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order restricting on-site eating. 

The village will not ask businesses to pay the “places for eating tax” for November, December or January. Homewood approved a similar measure in the spring, not asking restaurants to pay the tax for March, April or May.

The move was approved 6-0 at the Nov. 24 board meeting.

Pritzker announced last week that the entire state would enter Tier 3 mitigations to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. Bars and restaurants are to close at 11 p.m., offer no indoor service, maintain six feet between outdoor tables and suspend indoor gaming terminals.

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Businesses are still allowed to serve food and beverages via takeout, pickup, delivery and drive-thru.

“I’m hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay-at-home order like what we had in the spring – when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states, like Michigan and California and Washington, it’s our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives,” Pritzker said in a statement.

The 2% tax was first instituted in Homewood in 2014 to help replace a portion of declining sales tax revenue.

As was the case in the spring, restaurants without a drive-thru window will sign an agreement, collect the tax from customers and report it to the village but won’t be required to pay it. 

In other business, the board reappointed Robert Pascarella to the community relations committee for a three-year term. A parking variance was approved for a home on East Lyn Court.

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