Saturday, February 7, 2015
A Retail Desert in Rock Island County?
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!