Machesney Voters Should Reject Sales Tax Extension

By Michael Kleen

March 20, voters in the Village of Machesney Park will have the option of renewing a 1 percent sales tax that was levied in 2008 to pay for road repairs and construction. The imposition of this tax brought the combined state and local sales tax on most retail items in the village to 8.25 percent.

A misleading campaign by proponents of the tax is taking an “all-or-nothing” approach, claiming that roads will go unrepaired in the village if this sales tax is not approved. I believe Machesney Park voters should look past these arguments and reject the sales tax extension. Instead, the village should levy a small land-value tax, which would accomplish its goal of funding roads without all the negative side effects of a sales tax.

“Citizens for Roads,” a private and largely union-funded committee in favor of the tax, in conjunction with village officials, has begun a campaign to “inform” voters about the benefits of the 1 percent road tax, which will expire in 2013. In their arguments, they imply that there are only two ways of funding road construction, a sales tax or a bond issuance. Bonds are an inferior revenue source, they say, because the village will have to pay interest on them. That is fair enough, but voters need to ask themselves why these are the only two options. Surely, there are other ways of paying for roads.

Read the entire column online at the Rock River Times!

About Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and freelance columnist. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He lives in Rockford, Illinois, where he was the 2013 Republican candidate for mayor.

Posted on March 7, 2012, in Columns and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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