Thursday, December 18, 2014
Rock Island County school boards continue to back the 1% school facility sales tax referendum while at the same time voting to raise their tax levy! On December 17 the Silvis school board voted unanimously to back the 1% sales tax increase and voted for a tax levy more than 5% higher than last year! Our property taxes are rising far faster than the rate of inflation. Every year our school boards, and other governmental bodies, raise our property taxes. And every year the quality provided by our schools and other governmental bodies seems to decline. Yet every year our property taxes rise. Is it any wonder that most area new home construction occurs in Scott County where property taxes are lower? On April 7th we the voters have an opportunity to speak and we should loudly say :Read my lips, NO new taxes!" No matter how much money is given to any body of government there will always be a clamor for yet more money. Later, we will compare the rising revenue our schools have been receiving and compare that figure with school performance. More money is not the answer.Vote NO April 7!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
The accusation has been made that anyone who opposes the Rock Island County 1% sales tax increase "just doesn't care about the children of our community who are the future". Actually, we care very deeply about the future of our children and want them to have the best possible start in life. Of course our children are our future. We also care very deeply about the business climate in Rock Island County. We care about the jobs those businesses provide. We care about the sales tax which the State of Illinois and local governments are currently collecting. We think it is foolish for Rock Island County voters to even consider doing anything which would increase the tremendous competitive advantage which Scott County currently enjoys over Rock Island County. We are also aware of all the past tax increases, the dramatic expansion of gambling in Illinois, and the constant rise in our property tax bills; all of it supposedly "FOR OUR CHILDREN"! Yet no matter how much money taxpayers provide our schools test scores don't seem to improve and the schools constantly ask for more money. RICOCAT (Rock Island County Citizens Against Taxation) suggests that there is not a revenue problem but there is a spending problem. We think that in Illinois too much taxpayer money feeds unnecessary bureaucracy and that far too little taxpayer money goes where it is needed. Raising taxes is almost never the answer. Yes, we do care about our children and our schools but NO, we don't support the 1% sales tax increase for Rock Island County.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Think consumers don't notice prices? A recent trip to the Davenport Sam's Club revealed a gasoline price of $2.30 per gallon! Most Illinois gas stations have $2.59 per gallon. Roughly one-third of the many observed vehicles fueling up had ILLINOIS license plates. That is Illinois dollars going for IOWA roads! Illinois dollars paying IOWA sales taxes. Illinois dollars going to IOWA schools. Illinois dollars going to IOWA businesses! The proposed Rock Island County sales tax increase would add another three cents per gallon to the cost of gasoline in Rock Island County sending even more Illinois motorists to Iowa to fuel their vehicles, and probably doing other shopping and dining to take advantage of Scott County's lower sales taxes. To help keep Illinois dollars in Illinois vote "NO" APRIL 7th!
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Rock Island County School Boards are once again passing resolutions to place the 1% sales tax increase on the April 7 ballot. The exact same measure the voters of Rock Island County, in their wisdom, rejected in 2009 and 2014! The arguments will be the same in 2015 as they were in 2009 and 2014: pro-tax backers will tell tales of woe claiming that children can't learn in 50 year old buildings; we will point out that raising the sales tax in Rock Island County will cause even more prudent shoppers to go to Iowa for their gasoline, shopping, dining and entertainment hurting Rock Island County businesses and causing the State of Illinois and other local taxing bodies to collect less sales tax revenue. The only ones who will benefit from the Rock Island County sales tax increase are Iowa businesses and Iowa taxing bodies. Once again, we must organize to defeat this sales tax increase. Start writing letters to the editor opposing this destructive referendum.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
The minimum wage is being raised to $15.00 an hour in many areas and there are efforts to raise it nationwide. But why raise it to only $15.00? Why not $100.00? Why not $1,000,000.00 per hour? ....... When I started work in 1960 my dream was to make $2.50 per hour, the minimum wage then was $1.00 per hour. However in 1960 you could buy a decent house for less that $15,000, a new car for less that $2,000 or mail a letter for four cents or a post card for one cent. A carton of cigarettes was $1.80 and you would not believe how low food and gasoline were. Night Clubs were cheap: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin AND Sammy Davis Jr. plus two drinks totaled $5.00! Are real salaries higher now? ..... In Turkey in 2000 everyone was a millionaire! But a million Turkish Lire was worth 67 cents American. Of course you could buy very little with a million Turkish Lire. Turkey, and other countries, saw the folly of this and reformed their currencies. Does the United States wish to become another Weimar Republic? ....... Foolishly raising the minimum wage, and the resultant inflation, would wipe out the assets of anyone with savings accounts or government bonds and destroy anyone on a fixed income while moving workers into higher tax brackets. Jobs would be lost. It would do nothing to raise the standard of living for low wage workers. ...... What counts is not the level of income but the purchasing power of those dollars. Raising the minimum wage solves nothing!
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The 1% sales tax increase for schools wad defeated March 18th, 56% to 44%. Are we done? NO! If you read the March 19 Quad City Times on page 3 you will see that they are considering trying again in November. That could make for a crowded ballot as Hope Creek, the Rock Island County Courthouse and the so-called "Fair Tax" are all being considered for the November ballot. We must be ready. One Question we get asked when we appear before editorial boards is "How do we propose improving our schools?" I intend asking the Dispatch/Argus and the Quad City Times for space on their OP-Ed page in which we can outline our ideas on how governments could lower expenses which would free money for needed school improvements without raising taxes. . One theme would be to look across the river to Scott County where there is less school bureaucracy and fewer layers of government. Rock Island County has 25 county board members while Scott County, with a larger population, has only five county board members. Rock Island County has 30 township governments, each with a supervisor, clerk, four trustees, assessor, administrative expenses, and some also have a road commissioner. Iowa does not have township government. Some members of our group monitor the Rock Island County Board and could point out waste in county government. We may be able to point to substantial inefficiencies that would enable school improvement without endangering Rock Island County merchants. We cannot constantly increase spending and raise taxes, especially in a border region where lower taxes are so near.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Rock Island County Sheriff JEFF BOYD has been speaking out AGAINST the sales tax increases on the March 18th ballot. Sheriff Boyd points out that any money generated by the sales tax could simply displace existing budgeted money and might not lead to any new money going toward the purported purpose of the sales tax increase. Sheriff Boyd also said, as a voter, he's worried that raising sales taxes will fuel an exodus of shoppers across the river to Iowa. Bettendorf and Moline already have lower sales taxes than Moline and Rock Island. Sheriff Boyd said he has difficulty convincing members of his own family to buy gas in Rock Island County instead of in Davenport where fuel is 30 cents a gallon cheaper. Sheriff Boyd is right! Raising the Rock Island County sales tax to 8.75% on most purchases and to 10.25% on restaurants, prepared food and liquor, while the sales tax in Scott County is a flat 7.0% WILL fuel an exodus of Rock Island County shoppers across the river. Rock Island and Illinois government will collect less sales tax while Scott County and Iowa will collect more sales tax from Illinois consumers. Backers of the sales tax increase are correct. Passing this sales tax increase will help fund new school construction, IN IOWA! This is from the March 18,2014 election but these arguments still apply to the upcoming April 7, 2015 election.