On March 18, residents of St. Clair County will have an opportunity to increase the sales tax of items sold in the county by 0.25 percent for the next 25 years. The purpose is "public safety."
We hear there will be a new addition added to the county jail and new correctional officers hired. I tried several Google searches and found no information about the tax increase. Apparently there is no information out there.
If the county needs more money, the county should be telling us exactly why. Officials should provide a timeline with anticipated revenues and itemized expenditures, and I want it to balance.
I don't trust our county government enough to agree to pay even this little bit more to improve public safety because I don't believe that's where the money will go. I believe some will go for a new jail addition -- the cost of the addition will be directed to well-connected businesses -- but the real reason for the tax will be to provide additional funds to maintain control of the county.
The new jobs will go to friends and relatives, and other money will go where it can do the most good for the party, not the people.
As a resident of O'Fallon, from which 25 percent of St. Clair County's sales tax revenues come, I don't see how the tax will help my community, but it will make O'Fallon a less attractive place for people from Madison and Clinton counties to shop.