Thursday, February 26, 2015
Iowa has just handed Illinois a golden opportunity to achieve retail competitiveness by raising the cost of gasoline in Iowa by ten cents a gallon. Now, there is less incentive for Illinois motorists to cross the Mississippi to buy fuel, and while there, doing other shopping and dining. Perhaps now, more Illinois dollars will be spent in Illinois paying for Illinois roads, with sales taxes going to Illinois governments AND NOT TO IOWA ROADS AND GOVERNMENTS! How are the geniuses in our Illinois legislature reacting? They want to raise the Illinois tax on gasoline by thirteen cents and double the sales tax on groceries and medicine! Iowa has no sales tax on groceries and medicine. Rock Island County has an April 7 vote on adding another on percent sales tax! Illinois is doing its very best to not only squander this opportunity to become competitive, but actually making Illinois retailers less competitive! Write to Governor Rauner and to your Illinois legislators asking them not to squander this golden opportunity to receive more sales and gasoline tax revenue by not raising taxes and VOTE NO on the April 7 school sales tax referendum! If Illinois raises all these proposed taxes Rock Island County could become a retail desert as more shoppers head to Iowa for lower prices.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Richard Rogers had the following letter published in the February 20,2015 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. He makes some excellent points. "The schools are after more money from the taxpayer because they are unable to spend properly. ..... Consider what was reported on Feb. 6 for Illinois residents: An increase to a 2 percent on food and drugs, an increase of 13 cents per gallon gas tax, a $20 increase for registration of vehicles, an increase of $5 for drivers license renewal. ..... These increases you can do little or nothing about, but you can vote no on the 1 percent sales tax for Rock Island County schools, as this will add even more to the tax burden being dropped on us. ..... The schools very carefully have placed this vote on a historically unattended election so that this vote will be controlled by very few people, many of whom may have a vested increase to increase taxes. ..... Voters have turned down tax increases repeatedly, and schools are trying yet again. Schools need to cut administrative costs. ..... Get out and vote in April; just say no again. ..... What the state is proposing will affect everyone, regardless of income source, with higher costs for food, gasoline, and driving. It is time to force the schools to use money wisely. ..... Administrative costs are outrageous. At least three superintendents make at least $175,000 per year. The director of the Illinois Department of Corrections, responsible for 49,000 felons in prison, plus those on parole, makes $150,000. Think about it before you vote."
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
DAVID KIMBELL had the following letter in the February 17, 2015 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. It is short, to the point and effectively makes the case against the April 7 ballot question. ..... marks paragraph breaks. " Once again the Rock Island County schools are trying to raise the sales tax on the middle class and poor. This is the third time the county schools have had a referendum asking the middle class and poor for money, but did the county schools have a referendum letting the people vote on Common Core or a referendum on demolishing Audubon School? ..... The sales tax increase will hurt South Park Mall; it will hurt all small business in Rock Island County. Vote no on the sales tax increase referendum."
Thursday, February 12, 2015
In 2012 the Davenport schools spent $11,193 per pupil. In 2012 the Rock Island-Milan school district spent $12,153 per pupil. A difference of $960 per pupil! Obviously all those added layers of bureaucracy in Rock Island County schools add to the cost as do all those other frills that do nothing to prepare our children for a productive career. Rock Island County schools do not need revenue from yet another tax increase. They need to spend the more than ample revenue they are now receiving more wisely. Vote NO April 7.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
The Rock Island-Milan School Board was reviewing possible cuts that might be made if state aid were to decline. Among the programs that might have to be eliminated were GOLF and TENNIS! GOLF? TENNIS? Is this a country club??? To save $1,080,000 they might have to add two students to every class. Currently there are only 28 students per class in Kindergarten through sixth-grade, 25 in seventh and eighth grade classrooms and 24 in high school. When I was in Elementary School there 48 students in a class! Most of the cuts in this worst case state funding scenario are cuts that should have been made years ago without any pressure from the state. In fact, there are many more cuts that should be made to the bloated bureaucracy that eats up so much taxpayer money. On a cost per pupil basis: OUR SCHOOLS GET MORE THAN AMPLE MONEY. WELL ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE!ROCK ISLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT 41 RECEIVES $11,562 PER PUPIL, THE HIGHEST IN ROCK ISLAND AND SCOTT COUNTY YET ON THE NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND TESTS ON READING ONLY 30.1% MET THE NATIONAL STANDARD, THE LOWEST IN THE TWO COUNTIES, ON MATH ONLY 25.9% MET THE NATIONAL STANDARD, AGAIN THE LOWEST TEST SCORES IN SCOTT OR ROCK ISLAND COUNTY. HOW CAN WE BELIEVE THAT GIVING OUR SCHOOLS MORE MONEY WILL HAVE ANY BENEFIT TO OUR CHILDREN? LET'S VOTE NO NEW TAXES UNTIL WE SEE THEM USE MONEY MORE WISELY!
BILL LONG had this humorous letter in the February 11 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus and the Quad City Times. "Want to increase revenue to Illinois and Rock Island County? Just reinstall the toll booths on the bridges between Iowa and Illinois. We will capture funds from all the Illinois residents who are consistently going over to Iowa to shop. Then we can increase the taxes some more in Illinois, that will increase the traffic and the number of tolls will increase and also our revenue! ..... This is a problem we have been dealing with over the years and adding another tax will only compound the problem. There is no instant solution to this problem, however we do know that increasing the sales tax in Rock Island County is NOT the answer. ..... Our schools will have to learn to function within their budget. They need to review the distribution of money allocated to physical assets and personnel. ..... The pending referendum for a sales tax in Rock Island County is old news and should be defeated again. Those pushing for its passage should be using their energy to find better ways to distribute the funds the schools are already getting. ..... We have recently made a substantial change in state leadership. They are in the process of straightening out our budget and the last they need is to burden them with another local tax. Let's give them the opportunity to do the job we elected them to do. I urge you to spread the word to your neighbors to vote NO on the school tax referendum in the April election."
Sunday, February 8, 2015
I am sure everyone has noticed that once again the Rock Island County 1 percent school facilities question is on the ballot in a low turnout election. THEY DON'T HAVE THE GUTS TO PUT IT ON THE BALLOT IN A HIGH TURNOUT GENERAL ELECTION! THEY KNOW IT WOULD BE SOUNDLY DEFEATED! No, it is on the April 7 ballot where there are very few contests. They are being very quiet hoping that most voters will not even know a huge increase in the sales tax is on the ballot and not vote. That is where you come in. You must help inform voters that it is important that they vote on April 7. Most voters, when they know about this sales tax vote will vote NO and will thank you for helping to spread the word. WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR, SEND IT TO BOTH NEWSPAPERS. TELL ALL YOUR ACQUAINTENCES ABOUT THIS BALLOT QUESTION. WITH YOUR HELP, THIS SALES TAX INCREASE WILL ONCE AGAIN BE DEFEATED!
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Who would pay the increased sales tax in Rock Island County? Primarily the poor, the aged, the disabled. Everyone who is not mobile. They are the ones who pay the high tax on cigarettes and liquor in Illinois. The people who are more wealthy, more financially informed, and more mobile already leave Illinois to buy gasoline, cigarettes, groceries and medicines, and restaurant meals. Their numbers will only increase if Rock Island County voters approve the increased sales tax on April 7 leaving those who can least afford it the burden of paying more of their scarce money on this sales tax. This is a regressive tax which will primarily hurt the poor. It should be rejected! Vote NO April 7!
Possible actions by the voters of Rock Island County and the State Legislature in Springfield have the potential to essentially turn Rock Island County into a retail desert. The Illinois State Senate passed a bill that would raise the Illinois minimum wage from its current $8.25 to $9.00 this July 1 and then gradually raise the Illinois minimum wage to $11.00, the minimum wage in Iowa and all the other surrounding states is $7.25. How can Illinois retailers in the border counties compete? They would have to raise prices to pay these higher wages chasing more customers to Iowa where prices would be lower. There is again talk of raising the gasoline tax in Illinois by 13 cents a gallon. ALREADY IT IS POSSIBLE THAT MOST ROCK ISLAND COUNTY MOTORISTS BUY FUEL IN IOWA! WHY MAKE IT WORSE? How would you like to own a gas station near the border and watch all the cars go to the next state for gasoline? The geniuses in Springfield are talking of adding another 1 or 2 percent tax on food and medicine to the existing 1 percent Illinois tax on food and medicine, IOWA DOES NOT HAVE A SALES TAX ON FOOD AND MEDICINE! The Illinois tax on a pack of cigarettes is $1.98, in Iowa the tax on a pack of cigarettes is $1.38, IN MISSOURI THE TAX ON A PACK OF CIGARETTES IS 17 CENTS! Many Rock Island County smokers go to Missouri and buy 10 cartons of cigarettes to save $183.00. All these taxes, which make Illinois less competitive, we can do little about (except loudly make our opposition be known to our elected officials). ON APRIL 7 WE THE VOTERS OF ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, HAVE A VOTE ON RAISING THE SALES TAX IN ROCK ISLAND COUNTY! This increase would raise the sales tax on most items to 8.5 percent in Moline and Rock Island and would raise the sales tax on liquor and prepared food to 10 percent in Moline and Rock Island. IOWA HAS A FLAT 7 PERCENT SALES TAX ON ALL PURCHASES! How many Rock Island County consumers will willingly pay higher prices and taxes in Illinois? How many more will cross the bridges and do the majority of their shopping and dining in Iowa? How many stores in Rock Island County will simply close because of the lost sales as shoppers drive past their business to shop in Iowa? How much tax revenue will Illinois lose by chasing customers to Iowa? And what other taxes will be raised to make up for all that lost tax revenue? On April 7 we have a say in the direction of Illinois. Vote NO on the school sales tax!
Thursday, February 5, 2015
CAROL BAY had this letter published in the February 5 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. This also appeared in the February 10 Quad City Times. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "Once again we are hearing an emotional appeal for higher taxes in Rock Island County "for our children". We are being told "it's only a penny". And we are being told that this added sales tax will shift the burden for funding our schools away from property taxes. ..... Henry County voters were told the same thing. They were even told property taxes may go down. What happened? The Colona school board is seeking an increase of $363.33 in property taxes on a $100,000 home. The Annawan school board voted a 9.58 percent increase in their property tax levy. ..... Meanwhile, Henry County is stuck with that 1 percent sales tax, forever, and sales are down in Henry County as shoppers go elsewhere where taxes are lower. Yet our schools always claim poverty. ..... Schools, and all other governments, always cry out for more money. The truth is our schools get plenty of money. Rock Island County property taxes are well above the national average. Rock Island County schools receive above the national average cost per pupil. Where does our taxpayer money go? ...... Before Rock Island County voters give yet more money to our schools we should insist that our schools quit wasting money on needless bureaucracy. Look at Iowa which delivers quality education with far fewer layers of administration. ..... We should not continue to throw money down a bottom-less pit while giving Illinois residents yet more reasons to shop in Iowa. Let's vote NO on April 7.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
CRAIG HOLLISTER had this letter in the February 3, 2015 Dispatch/Argus"Bruce Peterson, in a Jan. 26 guest opinion seems to blame our school financial problems on TIFs. His solution? Raise Rock Island County sales taxes. ..... He does not address how that would harm the state of Illinois through lost sales tax revenue or harm Illinois retailers as people go to shop where prices and taxes are lower. ..... He tries to put the blame for the few Illinois housing starts on our schools. Many people move to where property taxes are lower and Rock Island County has high property taxes, mainly to fund our schools. ...... He does not address that our schools are already generously funded, well above the national average. ..... Too often the first, and only, solution by many liberals to any problem is to raise taxes. Illinois has raised gasoline taxes so high that thousands of Illinoisans buy fuel in Iowa daily. Interstate trucks do not buy fuel in Illinois. What is the Illinois solution? They are debating another fuel tax increase. That will only send more motorists to Iowa. ..... Scott County already collects almost twice as much sales tax as Rock Island County. This school sales tax will send even more Illinois shoppers across the river to Iowa. ..... It is hard to say no to our schools. Of course we care about our children's education but raising taxes is not the solution. Raising taxes only makes the problem worse as Illinois loses yet more ground to Iowa. ..... I'm voting NO on April 7."
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Sandy O'Neill had this letter in the February 1, 2015 Dispatch/Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "I want to comment on Dr. Bruce Peterson's Views from the QCA regarding TIF districts and the proposed school sales tax referendum. I agree wholeheartedly TIFs are hurting the schools, but I feel the addition of more sales tax only will shift more burden onto already overburdened taxpayers. ..... In Illinois, when a city or village proposes a TIF district or an extension of a TIF, it must get approval of a Joint Review Board and then hold public hearings before the council. This board consists of representative from other taxing bodies such as the schools, township, community college districts -- any entity that receives revenue from property taxes. .....In Moline, for example, there are 12 TIFs, the most of any city in Rock Island County. Since 2009, eight new TIFs have been approved and the Downtown TIF has been extended. Since 2009 the school district has had nine opportunities before the Joint Review Board to voice objections, but a review of meeting minutes does not provide any such evidence. ..... If you look at Moline's history with TIFs, not one has been retired. Two have resulted in developer bankruptcies, leaving the taxpayers holding the bag. If Moline never creates another TIF, it still will be 2049 before all 12 are retired, continuing to force a larger burden on the taxpayers to make up the difference for education and services. ..... In my opinion, the schools should have voted "No" before asking us to vote "Yes!""