Lincoln Daily News.com
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Lincoln, IL 62656
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This letter is in response to the
news last Wednesday [Nov. 13] that Mayor Beth Davis and the
Lincoln city aldermen are preparing for another attempt to raise
the sales tax again. My question to them is, what part of "no" is
it that they donít understand. The voters of Lincoln gave an
astounding mandate in their rejection of the councilís attempt to
raise the sales tax earlier this month. In essence the people
spoke "loud and clear" that they are not interested in having
their taxes raised.
By the way, an estimated $550,000 tax
increase for the city of Lincoln during these difficult times is
not good for Lincoln or its citizens, and it displays a lack of
compassion on the part of the mayor and the city council members
to the many people in our community who are suffering and hurting
at this time, in my opinion.
In addition to this, please remember
that the city of Lincoln lost over 12 percent, or 2,000, of its
residents, according to the last census (in 2000), and after the
closure of LDC, God only knows how many residents are left. My
point is, how can Mayor Beth Davis, and the city aldermen justify
maintaining the same levels of manpower throughout the many city
departments while losing residents and no real hope for any
immediate increase. Do they really believe that higher taxes will
draw new businesses, new industry or any new residents?
How many businesses do you think
after losing 12 percent or 2,000 of their customers would not be
reducing staff and cutting every available operating expense? They
sure wouldnít be raising their prices during such a crisis.
After all, the city is a business,
and the mayor and aldermen are our representatives, and they are
supposed to follow our wishes. Why then are they trying to
circumvent us now by not accepting the results from the election
earlier this month, which they themselves asked for? Is it because
they donít like the results?
[to top of second column in
Now look at what Mayor Davis
and the city council have already done to us in the way of
raising several fees this year. They raised the city
sewerage bills to $56, and we will be receiving another fee
increase in our sewerage bill next year. The city of Lincoln
stopped paying for the city fire hydrants to the local water
company and then transferred the $350,000 fees to each city
water customer and local resident. This transfer resulted in
an increase of 18 percent, or $6.26 per bill, for each city
resident. We can expect another 13 percent increase in our
water bills next year. If these fee increases during this
year arenít enough for you, this same group of city
representatives allowed the local cable company to increase
their rates without even a whisper of a complaint. These
cost increases are a lot to absorb in one year.
When you add the $620,000 loan
from the State Bank of Lincoln to the $350,000 of new money
received by the city council when the city stopped paying
the fire hydrant fees to the water company earlier this
year, it leaves an increase of almost a million dollars in
new operating money for the city.
We were not allowed to vote on
any of the fee increases above, but when given the
opportunity to voice our opinions regarding the sales tax
increase this November, we spoke "loud and clear," and it is
this writerís opinion that Lincoln City Hall will receive
the same resounding defeat in the spring election, regarding
this higher tax, just like they did this month.
I believe it is also important
to point out to the Lincoln voters that the sales tax
increase would affect every gallon of gas by at least one or
two cents for each gallon of gas purchased. Few citizens are
aware that sales tax is included in the final gas price at
the pump, and it has always been that way. So, if you want
to pay higher gasoline prices in Lincoln, then you should
vote "yes" and support this higher sales tax issue in the
Les Van Bibber