Thursday, January 29, 2015
LAWRENCE BAY had the following letter in the January 29 Dispatch/Argus. .... marks paragraph breaks. "On April 7 we will once again vote on the 1 percent school facilities sales tax for Rock Island County that we rejected in 2009 and 2014. The arguments for and against will remain the same. ..... Many may not understand how this sales tax will hurt Illinois governments. Consider a $1,0000 purchase such as appliances, electronics or furniture. Currently a sales tax of $62.50 goes to the state of Illinois and $12.50 goes to Moline or Rock Island. With the added 1 percent the sales tax will be 8.5 percent as opposed to 7 percent in Iowa. Consumers would then pay $15 less in sales tax per $1,000 by shopping in Iowa. ..... That would mean that $60 in state sales tax would now go to Iowa and Iowa schools would receive $10 while our Illinois cities and the state would lose $75. ..... Think people don't shop where taxes are lower? Count the Illinois license plates at Iowa gas stations! Thousands of Illinoisans daily buy fuel in Iowa to save $2-$3 per 10 gallons. How many more would shop in Iowa to save $15 per $1,000? Many prudent Illinois consumers may decide to do most of their shopping and dining in Iowa where sales taxes are so much lower. ..... Illinois governments cannot afford to lose this sales tax revenue. Many Rock Island County businesses cannot afford this loss of revenue. To keep Illinois competitive we must vote NO on April 7. For more information visit voteno2tax.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Dr. Richard L. (Bud) Phillis had the following letter in the January 28, 2015 Dispatch/Argus. All government agencies that have taxing authority never seem to be able to live with the revenue raised from taxes. Periodically more taxes are requested via ballot measures. Tax issues need to be addressed across the board. ..... Most taxing bodies often are able to find money for items they feel are important with the money that is available. ..... The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is discussing a plan to increase the appeal of the Q-C area to businesses and topnotch young professionals. One of the items on their agenda is a 1 percent sales tax across the Q-C area. ..... Most people are aware that the state of Illinois has critical financial problems which seem to require spending cuts, some type of new revenue, public employee pension reform, and growth of businesses and people to be paying taxes. ..... The schools of the area are again asking for a sales tax increase. ..... Last on this list concerns the Rock Island County Board. Over the past decade they have managed to reduce a reserve of over $10 million to about $1 million. The board is going to return using a manager to run Hope Creek Care Center; which was done before and failed. Why do members think it will be any different this time? Has anyone noted that we have not heard about the courthouse recently? Why? A plan for all these things needs to be presented to the voters, such as me, before a decision can be made on which item/s to vote for to raise taxes."
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Richard Rogers wrote the following letter to the editor published in the January 27 Dispatch/Argus. "Here we go again, the schools are asking for more money after being told no. ..... Schools need to live within their budget, just as do the residents of Rock Island County. If the schools did not spend millions of dollars to build new schools, then they would not have to raid the wallets of the taxpayer. Increasing the sales tax will increase spending across the river. ..... An increase in sales tax would harm residents just as the economy has begun to recover, 1 percent more on gas, and $2 a gallon won't last long and it will go up. ..... Rather than demand more money, change how money is spent. Combine all schools under one administration to avoid duplicated wasteful spending with multiple offices and staff. The superintendent of San Diego Schools is paid about $250,000 a year for more than 130,000 students, yet Rock Island, Moline and Sherrard pays at least $175,000 each with a county total of perhaps 11 percent of the $130,000. Makes no sense. ..... Just say NO again and again. ..... Those of us who are retired or work cannot demand more money because we spend more than our income. ..... We have to adjust; the schools need to adjust."
Friday, January 23, 2015
BILL COULTER of CEI Power Equipment in Moline wrote the following letter in the March 21, 2009 Dispatch. His words are still true today. "The proposed 1 percent sales tax increase for Rock Island County is being tossed about as a savior for the schools in the county. I've been in several of the schools and I agree that they could use some paint and some TLC. I don't agree, however, with the arguments I'm hearing via the media regarding the sales tax increase. ..... I've heard it said that a "measly" 1 percent will not affect sales. I wonder how they figure that out. The increase will raise the costs of the goods I sell anywhere from $3.50 to $37. How's that not a deterrent in any competitive business? If price differences this minor (their words) don't affect sales, why do Iowa businesses off the I-74 bridge place banners shouting the message that their fuel is cheaper/their cigarettes are cheaper and why do I see so many cars with Illinois license plates there? The truth is some people already plan their trips to Iowa and while there, they are sure to fill up since it's cheaper and they already were in Iowa. This proposed tax increase of 1 percent will only help Iowa stores like NorthPark and only hurt the stores in RICO. ..... How many more empty store fronts do they consider acceptable in Rock Island County? ..... The fairest way to raise taxes on a business is to do so without hurting retailers on either side of the rive. If Iowa can do it, why can't Illinois? Please, stop giving shoppers more reasons to shop in Scott County. If you don't, you're sending more Illinois money to Scott County stores and the taxes they collect benefit Scott County schools. I'm sure the people of Scott County will appreciate additional tax revenue should this increase pass."
In 2013 Henry County voters were told that the one percent school facilities sales tax would shift the burden away from property taxes to a more painless way in which outside visitors would take on the burden of financing Henry County schools and Henry County property owners would find relief. Henry County voters believed these promises and voted to accept the one percent school facilities sales tax. How has that worked in Henry County? The Colona school board wants an INCREASE OF $363.33 in the property tax bill on a $100,000 home! The Annawan school board voted a 9.58 percent in the property tax levy which would result in an increase of $53.00 in the property taxes on a $100,000 home. Other Henry County school boards have also raised their property tax levies far higher than the rate of inflation. And these Henry County school boards are raising the property tax levies every year! REAL ESTATE TAXES ARE ALMOST CONFISCATORY AND YET THE SCHOOL BOARDS ARE NEVER SATISFIED! GIVEN ALL THE MONEY IN THE UNIVERSE, OUR SCHOOLS WILL NOT IMPROVE AND THEY WILL STILL CRY OUT FOR MORE MONEY! MEANWHILE, THE GULLIBLE HENRY COUNTY VOTERS ARE STUCK WITH THE ONE PERCENT SCHOOL SALES TAX, FOREVER!
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
The most important single thing YOU can do to help defeat this April 7 sales tax referendum IS TO WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR EXPLAINING YOUR REASONS WHY A VOTE OF NO IS RECOMMENDED. Send your letter of 250 words or less to both the Dispatch/Argus and the Quad City Times. You can send one letter per month to both newspapers. Use your own ideas or take any of the ideas from this Blog. Other ways you can help is by telling your acquaintances about this sales tax and how it will be harmful to Rock Island County and to the entire State of Illinois. This sales tax referendum was defeated in 2009 and 2014. With your help, it will be defeated again!
One line the Dispatch/Argus has always used in the past when they have endorsed the one percent school sales tax for Rock Island County is "retail follows rooftops". If that were to be true how can it be that Scott County, with a population only 18,000 more than the population of Rock Island County collected almost twice as much sales tax revenue? Scott County collected $147.4 million in sales tax in 2012 while Rock Island County, with only 18,000 fewer residents, collected only $74.5 million in sales tax revenue! Obviously other factors than mere number of rooftops account for this huge disparity. Retail businesses in Scott County enjoy lower property taxes, a $1.00 per hour lower minimum wage, lower workman's compensation expenses and a slightly lower sales tax than retail businesses in Rock Island County. Scott County restaurants and other sellers of prepared food have a seven percent sale tax while in Moline and Rock Island the current sales tax is nine percent which would rise to ten percent with the new school sales tax. Obviously, there are many reasons why Rock Island County is losing population (in the last census Rock Island County lost 2,000 residents while Scott County gained 7,000), businesses and jobs but the added one percent school sales tax would certainly make Rock Island County even less competitive in the battle for retail sales. Why would Rock Island County Voters even consider making our county less competitive? Vote NO April 7.