Tuesday, December 30, 2014
On this December 30th there is a BP gas station in Rapids City that sells gasoline for $229.9 per gallon. There is a BP gas station in Le Claire that sells gasoline for $1.99.9 a gallon. The two stations are within sight of each other. Which one sells the most gasoline? How many Illinois cars fuel up in Le Claire? How many Iowa cars fuel up in Rapids City? The 1 percent school sales tax will add even more to that 30 cent a gallon price difference. Yet backers of the sales tax claim that consumers don't notice prices or taxes, they would have you believe that outsiders will swarm into Rock Island County to pay our higher taxes. Before you believe that, go to an Iowa gas station and count the Illinois license plates.
The following letter by Lawrence Bay appeared in the March 12,2014 Quad City Times in rebuttal of the Times endorsement of the sales tax increase. The points raised are still valid for the April 7 election and every future tax referendum. "I could fill this page with reasons to oppose a school sales tax for Rock Island County. In fact, I could fill an entire edition with stories of how this sales tax would harm the economy of Rock Island County. The Quad City Times, in endorsing the 1 percent sales tax increase to be voted on in the March 18 ballot, correctly pointed that Scott County has a 1 percent sales tax for schools and that many Rock Island County consumers help pay for Scott County schools. What the Quad City Times did not mention is that Scott County has a flat 7 percent sales tax on most purchases; there is no sales tax on food and medicine. If this 1 percent Rock Island County sales tax is approved, the sales tax in Moline and Rock Island on most purchases would be 8.5 percent. The sales tax on prepared food, liquor, and at restaurants would be 10 percent! That's a sales tax difference of 3 cents on every dollar between Rock Island and Moline restaurants and those in Scott County. If Rock Island County voters approve this sales tax increase, even more Rock Island consumers will help fund Scott County schools. Go to any Davenport gas station and see how many Illinois motorists are paying for Iowa roads. Higher taxes are almost never the answer, especially where there are five bridges that allow prudent consumers a choice. To protect the economy of Rock Island County vote "no" on March 18."
The following letter by Lawrence Bay appeared in the December 30th Dispatch/Argus AND Quad City Times. "Once again, Rock Island County voters will have to reject the 1 percent school facilities sales tax, just as they did in 2009 and 2014.The arguments used by both the proponents and opponents will be the same. Yet, no matter how many times the voters reject this tax, it can keep coming back. However, if it ever passes, this tax will never go away. Proponents will claim property taxes will go down. In Henry County, which did pass the sales tax, Annawan just raised its school tax levy 9.58% and other school boards are also raising their property tax levy. At a time when inflation is less than 1.5 and motor fuel and natural gas prices are low, our schools continue to claim the need for ever higher taxes. All the money in the Universe would not satisfy their appetite! Our schools are headed down the wrong path, and raising taxes will only hurt Rock Island County and will not help our children's education. Raising the sales tax in Rock Island County would only help Iowa businesses, schools and government while causing declines in sales tax revenue to Illinois governments. Shoppers go where prices are lower. Iowa already has so many advantages over Illinois, why make it worse? For more reasons to reject this sales tax increase visit voteno2taxblogspot.com. Read this blog and join the fight against higher taxes. Vote NO on April 7."
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
After wisely rejecting the 1% school facilities sales tax several times Henry County voters approved the 1% sales tax, lured by the promise of lower property taxes. How is that working out in Henry County? PROPERTY TAXES KEEP GOING UP IN HENRY COUNTY! The Orion school board raised the real estate levy 4.5%, this will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an increase of $13.20 per year. In Annawan the school board voted a 9.58% tax levy increase which will cost the owner of a $100,000 home roughly an extra $53.00 per year! Other Henry County school districts have also raised their tax levy. And these school boards keep raising the tax levy each and every year! Look at your property tax bill. The school tax levy is the largest item. And compare each year's bill. Property taxes keep rising! Rising far faster than the rate of inflation! Or our income! Governments, as long as it is other people's money, will always find great ways to spend more money. If our schools were to have access to all the money in the Universe they would still claim that our schools are being short-changed and our children's test scores would not improve one bit. It is time to stop throwing money down this bottomless pit. Let's look at how our parochial and private schools are able to hold costs down and yet deliver a superior education. Rock Island County voters once again have a duty to VOTE NO APRIL 7th!
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Inflation is low rising between 1.0% and 1.5% per year and is projected to remain in that range for the foreseeable future. The cost of natural gas and motor fuel have dropped dramatically which means that our schools are paying a lot less for heating and transportation. Yet almost every Rock Island County school district has raised its real estate tax levy by 4.9% or more! Our property taxes keep rising and yet the school boards keep asking for more money. On April 7 we, the voters, get a chance to say enough already. Vote NO April 7th
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.