Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Daily Egyptian All Over the Tax Proposal

Two letters, three articles and an editorial. They've been busy. See also here, here, and here.

I am amazed at all the goofy rhetoric this topic has generated from those opposed to the plan. People aren't going to shop out of town if this tax is implemented. Carbondale residents rarely, if ever, leave town to do anything. They won't drive to Marion, for instance to shop at Walmart. And there isn't a Best Buy over in Marion.
Because people in Carbondale generally have blinders on when it comes to this sort of thing, they don't stop to consider that thousands of people from surrounding towns shop in Carbondale. Are they going to stop shopping in Carbondale because it's gonna cost them an extra 50 cents for every $100 they spend? C'mom people...think this stuff through...your arguements just don't make a lot of sense.
I guess anonymous doesn't realize that there is going to be a Wal-Mart in Murphysboro within a couple of months. I suppose those folks are going to drive right by that new Wal-Mart to come shop at ours, right? I would hazard a guess that Wal-Mart is the single largest contributor of sales tax income for the city. Does anyone have any idea how that new Wal-Mart is going to affect our revenue stream?

The higher sales tax in a rural area like Carbondale isn't likely to affect where people shop now but it certainly may affect where developers choose to locate future businesses. If I want to build a store, why put it in Carbondale, when I can put it just outside Carbondale and sell my product for less than the stores in Carbondale because the sales tax is lower?
I don't think the main concern of those opposed is the tax itself. Everyone I have spoken to supports it for the purpose of the new police and fire stations. The main concern appears the 20 year and $20 million commitment to the Saluki Way project when there are over a hundred projects in Carbondale still waiting on funding.
Why do businesses who might want to locate in Carbondale care about an increase in the sales tax? The businesses don't pay the tax, their customers do. Do you really think that would have kept Dick's Sporting Goods from locating in Carbondale? You gotta think real world here, not what ifs. Walmart is just an example. Murphysboro isn't the only town near Carbondale. DeSoto, Du Quoin, Carterville, Herrin, Anna, Jonesboro are just a few. Go to the mall, especially at Christmas, and ask people where they're from. Most of them won't be from Carbondale. Do you think these folks will go somewhere else because they gotta pay an extra 50 cents per $100? That's a penny for every two dollars.

If you don't think Saluki Way isn't a Carbondale project, you need to reassess your position. There's a great symbiotic relationship between the two and as far as i can tell, Carbondale gets most of the benefits. Time for the city to return some favors. And once the stadium is rebuilt, the student and academic phases kick in.

People need to start looking at the larger, real world picture. When they do, I think they'll realize that this is a no-brainer.
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