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Lincoln Daily News
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Chamber endorses the 1% sales tax increase

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To the editor:

On March 24, 2011, the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted unanimously to endorse the penny sales tax referendum on the April 5 ballot. The reason the chamber voted in support of this tax "replacement" option is because we understand the importance of investing in our schools today. It is in our local business community's best interest that Logan County sustains a quality educational system. Investing in our schools delivers better quality future employees, helps us remain competitive and attracts new families and businesses to our community.

Having excellent schools also helps with economic development in our community. We cannot have excellence in our schools and students if we have leaking roofs, faulty boilers and unsafe buildings for our students and teachers. Our teachers and students are up against many challenges, so it is time we take control of our own destiny and help ourselves out locally.

This 1 percent sales tax increase option is a much more equitable share of the financial burden of funding our schools. Not only will everyone in our community be a part of supporting our schools, but so will the thousands of visitors to Logan County every year.

We also consider it an important fact that the state of Illinois will not be managing the funds generated through this funding option. The moneys collected will go directly to the schools educating Logan County students and can only be used to pay for capital improvements to the buildings (i.e., maintenance, outdated boilers, leaky roofs and drafty windows). These improvements have the potential of decreasing annual maintenance and utility expenses.

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Currently, the only way to pay for these updates and new construction is from government funding (which has been insufficient for years) or by selling bonds, which increases property taxes. The revenue from the sales tax would provide a reliable source of revenue, will stabilize property taxes and even reduce some property taxes in Logan County.

This increased penny sales tax cannot be assessed on many items that residents of Logan County purchase here locally, such as food, prescription and nonprescription medications, automobiles, farm implements and inputs, boats, trailers, mobile homes, and some other items.

It has been stated by school officials that if this referendum does not pass, our property taxes will go up. It seems to the chamber of commerce that it only makes sense to share the financial responsibility that we have to support our schools. We caution voters that there is much misinformation out there about this referendum, so please make sure you have the facts before you vote on April 5.

Investing in our students is key to the success and growth of Logan County. Sharing that investment responsibility with everyone, including visitors to Logan County, is a win-win for Logan County!


Board of directors
Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce

[Posted April 01, 2011]

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