Friday, November 6, 2015
Taxpayer should be last resort for fixing RICo
BILL BLOOM had this op-ed published in the November 2 Dispatch/Argus. "Illinois is running massive deficits as is Rock Island County. This is not news to anyone. At both levels of government, the Democrats want to apply the same solution which they have used over and over and which has not addressed the problem. They want to raise taxes. ..... People need to realize that raising property taxes is a double tax on home owners. ..... Our homes are worth far less than comparable homes across the river. ..... When the county raises property it removes disposable income from our pockets, and it removes resale value from our homes. Ask any realtor what the impact will be of a property tax increase in Rock Island County. It will not be pretty. ..... Before we go after the taxpayer again, we need to make sure we have exhausted every opportunity to reduce costs in government, and we need to insure that the pain is shared by everyone and isn't hiding wage increases to the public unions. ..... In the "Save Hope Creek" sales tax effort, there were four 2.5 percent salary tax hikes for the public union hidden in the fine print. Any tax increase on the homeowners should come with an ironclad agreement that there will be no salary increases on any county positions until the county is no longer running a deficit. ..... Public employees currently enjoy 12 paid public holidays. Private sector workers receive about seven holidays. Paid holidays should be rationalized between the public sector jobs and private sector. This will save the county one week of salary for every worker on the Rock Island County payroll. If a worker wants to celebrate Columbus Day, let them take a vacation day like the rest of us. ...... The Rock Island County Board should give up its health and retirement benefits package. ..... We need to examine how prevailing wage is calculated and applied. If you ask our local mayors they will tell you (regardless of party) that they add 30 percent to their labor costs for prevailing wage projects. ..... Overpaying on projects hurts the ability of cities and counties to get things done. Area mayors will tell you they have projects on hold because the prevailing wage costs exceed the available budget. ..... If local governments were able to determine where prevailing wage is applied, and if the wages are calculated on the true average, more projects will be completed, more jobs will be created, and the cost of government will be lower for the people. '