Friday, October 7, 2016
Rock Island County Republican Chair BILL BLOOM had this op-ed published in the September 26, 2016 Dispatch Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "We are approaching the 30-day mark to the election. Never ha there been more at stake for the people of the United States, Illinois and Rock Island County. ..... Our county has lost 20 percent of its manufacturing jobs since 2000. The state has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs. The only sector where jobs have grown is in the government, and since government jobs are paid for by taxes, this does nothing to grow the economy, but does remove money from those of us in the private sector. In face, the tax environment encourages people to move to other states. ..... We now have the highest property taxes in the nation and, if you consider the cost of living, the highest paid public union workers, according to the Illinois Policy Institute (illinoispolicy.org). ..... We have the worst credit rating in the nation and one of the largest percentages of population on public aid. The debt per citizen in Illinois puts each of us $44,000 in debt. ..... As I write this, AFSCME is looking for billions more to funnel to its workforce. They may get it. Democrats in elected office count on AFSCME for "volunteers" to help campaign. They look to them for donations. It's a cozy relationship. Democrats vote for pay raises for AFSCME. AFSCME campaigns and funds Democrat campaigns. Taxpayers foot the bills. ..... Locally, taxing bodies, when confronted with intolerably high property taxes, have turned to sales taxes to "raise revenue". Our sales taxes are already higher than neighboring states. Our taxing bodies are run like a straw in an empty soda can, circling the bottom looking for those last drops of juice. ..... People should consider the thinking behind this trend. Taxes have hurt the property value of every homeowner in Illinois. Sales taxes already hurt Illinois businesses, but the thinking seems to be these can be raised higher. Businesses and jobs are already leaving. What will this accomplish? ..... Once they have raised the property taxes and the sales tax to an intolerable level, where will they go next? We must see this trend to know where it will go next. ..... It does not have to be this way. Cut the cost of government. ..... At the county level, divest operations that are not typically part of government. Reduce the number of taxing bodies. ..... At the state level, make Illinois more appealing to manufacturers. Make Illinois more competitive and these jobs will return. Elect representatives to Springfield who will not play the game of tax hikes in return for campaign donations. Reduce property taxes and watch home values rise. .... In the county and in the state, more Republicans in office will increase fiscal responsibility, transparency and voter accountability."
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
CAROL BAY of Port Byron had this published in the July 31 Dispatch/Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks "With every daily newspaper, and every property tax bill, it seems like everything is getting worse. That the "elites" in government have total power over us and there is nothing we can do about it. ..... Recently we found that one judge can undo the work of thousands and prevent the remap vote. What can we do? ..... Donald Trump has established himself as our messenger. If you are dissatisfied with the elites who seem to have total control of our lives and want to gain even more control by ever-increasing regulations, you can send a clear message by casting a vote for Donald Trump. ..... If you are dissatisfied with ever-increasing taxes, Rock Island County voters can send a clear message with a vote of NO on the sales tax referendum. .... If you are dissatisfied with Michael Madigan's super-majority stranglehold in Springfield you can break that stranglehold by electing Tony McCombie and Brandi McGuire. ..... If you are dissatisfied with the Rock Island County nepotism and ever-higher taxes you can break that monopoly by electing Republicans to RICo office. .... November 8 is our chance to send a clear message to the elites in Washington, Springfield, and here in Rock Island County that we are mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore, ..... What can we do? ..... We can use our vote to send a message to these elites by voting for Donald Trump and the entire Republican ticket and voting no on the sales tax referenda."
DAVID KIMBELL of Rock Island had this letter published in the August 31 Dispatch Argus. "Do the schools and Rock Island County care if they are hurting businesses, the poor and the middle class? How many small businesses will go out of business if two sales taxes are passed? ..... Do the schools and county care that the raise in the sales tax will devastate business and tax the middle class during hard economic times? ..... Vote no on the two sales tax increases."
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
RICHARD ROGERS of Rock Island had this letter in the September 13 Dispatch Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "The elected officials of Rock Island worked very hard to get Wal-Mart to come to Rock Island; thank you for your efforts. .... What caused Wal-Mart to back out? Perhaps the impending sales tax increases played a large part in their decision. Illinois already has higher sales tax than Davenport and Rock Island County voters are being pushed to raise it another 1.5 percent. Couple that with state legislators, after doing nothing to solve the budget impasse because of after the election, contemplating raising the income tax and adding a 1 percent "sugar" tax, and Illinois is becoming an even an unhealthy climate for businesses. ..... Schools want more and more money. Last year the voters defeated the sales tax increase and some schools raised property taxes. Schools do not make any attempt to save the millions that could be saved by having one office of the superintendent for Rock Island County, instead of 10 offices. ..... Blame legislators who do not do the jobs for which they were elected. ..... Vote no on the increase of sales tax and vote out all incumbents in the Illinois Legislature. ..... As long as Illinois has an unfriendly resident atmosphere, more businesses will leave for the short trip across the river. Where did Mills Chevrolet go? Across the river. Where is development of retail? Across the river. ..... Vote out those who do not do what is right, but rather follow the political party leader's ideals."
BILL LONG of Rock Island has this letter in the September 13 Dispatch Argus and September 8 Quad City Times. "Rock Island County government will have a referendum on the November ballot asking for a half cent increase in the sales tax. ..... This should be an easy no vote. ..... Our county administrator has made several positive changes since he came to Rock Island County. Most of these are a definite savings to the taxpayer. ..... Some examples are refinancing several bonds at a savings of $700,000; the firing of the group that had been hired to manage Hope Creek, which was costing us $40,000 per month; eliminating benefits for the part-time county board members; the trimming of a few employees and an effort to change the cumbersome and costly committee system. ..... These changes coupled with recent 16-plus percent increase in the county property tax levee and the recent statement that the assessed valuation of the county is increasing should provide additional revenue enhancements. ..... While we have to be aware that Dave Ross is making positive strides, he has limited jurisdiction over elected personnel. The fact is the cost of county government must be lowered. ..... During a discussion at a recent committee meeting, it was apparent that there were some resisting changes to the committee system. Those resisting the changes were primarily against, them because they saw them as a loss of power, control and compensation. ..... These are primarily those who continue to resist any positive changes. ..... It is my opinion that with the pending changes and continued efforts on the administrators part, we can continue to show improvements. ..... I am again encouraging a no vote on this tax increase and asking you to do the same."
RICHARD L. Phillis, M.D. of Milan had this letter in the September 13 Dispatch Argus. "Taxes in Rock Island County are again in the news and in letters to the editor. ...... To understand this one needs to look at the tax bill and the various taxing bodies that are noted ..... The part of the bill that the county board has any control over is 14 percent. By far the largest portion of the total is the school systems and Black Hawk College. Together those two are about 70 percent of every property tax bill. ..... To lower the property tax bill there would need to be a reduction in the amount of money spent for the school systems. Part of the Sherrard school system, where I live, is in Rock Island County. In the Sherrard system, referenda are required for increasing the tax rate, new buildings, multiple building additions, and bonds for nonsafety concerns. ..... A petition signed by 20 percent of the school-area voters in the district could put another topic on the ballot. Thus the taxpayer has little control over school funding. ..... One of the largest expenses is salary and retirement benefits of the employees. ..... This must be reduced if there is to be any significant reduction in property taxes. ..... Many of the employees pay no more than 10 percent of their retirement to the school system and the state paying the rest. The present system of defined benefits must be changed to defined contribution, such a an IRA type of account. ..... Until this is done, I will vote no on any tax increase."
Friday, September 2, 2016
JANET LONG of Rock Island had this letter in the August 18 Dispatch/Argus. "There will be two referendums to take more of our hard-earned dollars for increased taxes on the November ballot. This is nothing new. It seems there is never an election that goes by without someone trying to get hold of our money. ..... This time we are being attacked by both the Rock Island County government and the county school system. Does anybody in the school system ever read the news? ..... Recently Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed a panel to develop a plan to get more money to local schools. He also signed a 2017 budget that assures the county schools an increase of more than $2.5 million from the state. ..... The haven't received this yet, and they are asking for more! Perhaps some school districts should look at the Moline school system! Lo and behold, a balanced budget! They didn't join the effort to promoter the 1 percent increase in the sales tax. We are taxed enough now and it is time the schools looked into trimming their personal budget. ..... There is no reason for all of the number of superintendents and principals that we have in the county. They are costly and leave plenty of room to trim the budgets. However it seems that "budget trimming" is not a class offered in the school systems of this county. ..... This is the fourth time they have tried to pass this off on us. Another "NO" may get the message across. Vote no on the referendums."