Friday, March 18, 2016
BILL LONG of Rock Island had this letter in the March 17 Dispatch/Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "April Fools joke? Some businesses are closing, others relocating and a population decline, are not the only sure things in Rock Island County. You can also count on every taxing body asking for a tax increase! ...... The Rock Island School Board is again asking for its usual tax increase! For the fourth time, members are asking for a 1 percent sales tax for school facilities. The voters have vetoed this proposal every time it is presented. ..... Being persistent is one thing, but being foolish is another story. A board member stated that if voters approved the tax, he hoped they would use the funds for both capital improvements and paying off bonds for past projects. Scott County has had this tax for some time and is still trying to find ways to cut its budgets. A tax increase isn't always the answer. ..... With the Rock Island County Board taking a 16.8 percent increase for "better governance", and another increase for the courthouse project, it would seem another tax increase proposal is completely out of line. ..... Remember when we were the "farm implement capital of the world"? Remember when Rock Island had a population of over 50,0000? Remember when you were proud to be from Rock Island? It seems that now the only thing going up in Rock Island County is our taxes. When will it end? ...... In the news recently there were three more restaurants that were closing. Rock Island recently told a catering service to look elsewhere to locate. ..... Apparently they don't want the additional jobs and tax revenue. Our elected officials should hang their heads in shame."
The Rock Island-Milan and Rockridge school boards have passed a request that the infamous school sales tax referendum be placed on the November 8 ballot. This is the same referendum Rock Island County voters rejected in 2009, 2014 and 2015. We must get ready to defeat it again. The arguments for and against remain the same. We need to continue to point out that this would make the sales tax in Moline 8.5 percent in Moline and Rock Island, ten percent on prepared food and liquor, causing many consumers to go to Scott County where the sales tax is 7 percent, this would harm our merchants and cut the sales tax revenue in Illinois, Moline and Rock Island, other taxes would have to be raised or services cut to compensate for this lost revenue. Proponents will promise property tax relief but we need to point at Henry County which passed this sales tax and property taxes continue to skyrocket. We need to point out the many money-wasting inefficiencies in Rock Island County schools, more money is not needed, money just needs to be spent wiser. We need to compare Rock Island County schools which achieve better academic results at a far lower cost per pupil with those of Rock Island County. With another voter education program we can once again defeat this ruinous sales tax increase.