I gave the sales tax increase serious thought, even attending a well-done presentation at Reagan Middle School and reading “Boomtown,” but I cannot support this tax-and-spend policy.
n It’s a permanent cost-of-living increase. A great Lee County positive is escaping Chicago and suburban tax rates and high cost of living. Do we really want to keep eroding that huge advantage?
n It damages commerce and business. Nickel-and-dime arguments promoting tax hikes have produced destructive cumulative totals, which do affect consumer spending. Many businesses, including mine, avoid raising prices despite rising costs. A sales tax forces a price increase, without any profit to help the business.
n It’s regressive taxation, falling heaviest on those struggling with this economy. Are we willing to hurt those who can least afford it?
n It’s a moral hazard, bailing out Illinois’ budgetary failures and corruption. Do we reward failure by voting higher taxes onto ourselves? There is political movement to transfer pension costs onto local governments (causing yet more taxes). Should we signal we’re eager to absorb their mistakes?
n It’s an inefficient use of education funds. Proponents misrepresent the incremental benefits of bigger facilities with the more impressive benefits of introducing athletic opportunity where there is none.
n It’s a broad taxation for an earmarked, narrow benefit. Many criticize tax-and-spend policy – until they benefit. Let that not be said of us. I support this facility (and infrastructure generally), but not the permanent tax hike. Instead, combine growth with fiscal discipline for a path both visionary and prudent.