County Board Member Frank Heiligenstein stated, in support of the County Public Safety Tax referendum, that the tax would be a regressive tax. The board member is categorically wrong. A regressive tax is, as defined, a tax imposed in such a manner that the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases. The proposed tax is a flat 1 percent sales tax that only has a few commodity exceptions. I believe that the board member is conflating the ability of the wealthy to spend more with that of the percentage of what the individual spends. The tax is quite clear in that it is 1 percent regardless if you are spending $100 or $10,000. Throwing terms around like that of the “progressive tax” will only serve to deceive those of lower means living in areas of poorer status. The person spending $1 in East St. Louis will in effect subsidize such departments, in better off locations such as O’Fallon, at a greater rate than those of their own community under the proposed tax. This in every essence is unjust, and should not be carried forward.
Ryan F. H. Mahoney, Belleville