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Lincoln Daily News welcomes letters of appreciation, information and opinion on matters pertaining to the community. 
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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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1% occupational sales tax increase a positive for community

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To the editor:

On April 5, 2011, voters will be asked this question: "Shall the county of Logan, Illinois, be authorized to impose a 1% retailers' occupation tax and a service occupation tax to be used exclusively for school facility purposes?"

If approved by the majority of voters, the countywide sales tax will not be collected on groceries, vehicle purchases, prescription drugs, medicine, medical supplies, farm machinery, farm parts, car repairs or haircuts. Money generated can only be used for school facility purposes, such as new roofs, energy conservation, safety, security and disability access. It cannot be used for salaries and/or benefits.

If voters approve this referendum, the Lincoln Community High School Board of Education will meet after the election to lower property taxes. Board of Education members have passed a resolution stating any increased revenues will be used to pay off existing bonds, which will lower the district's tax rate and save property owners money.

[to top of second column in this letter]

There are many advantages to increasing local revenues through a sales tax and decreasing property taxes. A sales tax is spread over a much larger number of people, which greatly decreases the impact to the local shopper. Estimates show upwards of 1 million travelers each year stop and shop in Logan County. Everyone will be paying their fair share to educate our students, not just landowners. The amount of money the average person spends in sales taxes on an annual basis pales in comparison to what is paid in property taxes.

The fact is that shopping in Lincoln and Logan County supports local businesses that employ thousands of people. Education is a critical issue that transcends political boundaries. Academic performance of our students and schools, as well as the physical condition of educational facilities, plays a large part in making Logan County an attractive area for future growth and development. And, everyone who shops in Logan County will contribute to the local economy and help lower property taxes.

Robert Bagby
Superintendent, Lincoln Community High School

[Posted March 17, 2011]

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