Recurrent themes in discussions of the upcoming sales tax proposals are “safe communities” and “quality schools,” both desirable attributes. However, I am reluctant to vote for any tax increase as long as we continue to see local government corruption, unnecessary and dishonest township government, questionable election practices in East St. Louis that the rest of us pay for, and an underused airport that drains taxpayer money. I appreciate the assurances that this tax revenue will only be used for its intended purposes; however, bottom line is that the funds are all coming out of taxpayer wallets that are stretched thinner every year. Furthermore, while we hear that these increased sales taxes will allow some property tax relief, that is not certain, only that school districts “may” abate property taxes. Reluctance to pay more taxes does not make me “anti-public safety” or “anti-schools.” I just want to see government be good stewards of tax dollars, as we who are paying the bills have to be with our personal budgets. If there weren’t millions going to the airport yearly, we would have more money for public safety, which is the primary responsibility of county government. If we didn’t have TIF money going to every business that asks for it, we would have more money for our schools. Government needs to budget and spend responsibly, as taxpayers have to do. I encourage everyone to vote “no” on the proposed sales tax increases on April 4.
Jane Ohl, Belleville
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