Thursday, March 5, 2015
Two good reasons to again vote against school sales tax
Mark Lioen had this letter published in the March 5, 2015 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. Despite the current winter weather, spring and local elections on April 7 aren't far away. Among the measures to be decided, in addition to the choice of candidates, will be the perennial referendum on whether to impose a 1 percent sales tax in support of education. In the past, voters, in their wisdom, have declined to approve the tax for a number of reasons. ..... The first reason to vote against the tax is the pernicious effect that it will have upon local retail outlets and their ability to sell their services and merchandise to the public. Initially, 1 percent sounds like a small amount, but on larger purchases, it could well be sufficient to influence the customer to either not purchase the item from that local store or go online to buy it at a cheaper cost. Moreover, it has to be place in the context of the present amount of sales tax and the cumulative effect of these taxes on the consumer. Will this 1 percent be the straw that breaks the camel's back and moves him or her to postpone his purchase indefinitely? ..... A second reason to reject the tax is that businesses have continued to struggle under the weight of an extremely slow economic recovery. To impose an additional burden will either prolong an already ponderous journey towards prosperity or drive the retailer out of business altogether. The environment for business in Illinois is already rough, and the question is whether we wish it even worse at this particular time?