Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jane Adams Responds to the DE

Jane Adams, an Arbor District board member, saw the coverage of the tax proposal in today's Daily Egyptian and sent out this email:

Today's Daily Egyptian has extensive coverage of the proposed city sales tax increase and the donation to SIU for Saluki Way. I am astounded at some of the claims being made:

Coach Jerry Kill is quoted as saying, "Jerry Kill's future is on that vote. I'll be fired."

Another story states [Saluki quarterback Nick] Hill joined many top university officials, including SIU President Glenn Poshard and Chancellor Fernando Trevino, in celebrating the recent proposal for Carbondale to help fund the first phase of Saluki Way."

The DE editorial writes, "There is no turning back -- curtailing Saluki Way is no longer an option. The request for this tax is tantamount to its demand." [emphasis added]

Meanwhile, SIU alumnus Kyle Englert wrote a letter suggesting repairs to the Stadium and the Arena that have long been discussed, and that the new student fees are adequate to pay for.

I don't understand who created the proposal that the City of Carbondale pay for a state institutions' capital project, but the rhetoric in the DE is extreme. The last I heard, we are a democracy and the elected representatives of the voters, or the voters through a referendum, decide on whether or not they will tax themselves.

Jerry Kill has a Carterville address.
Glenn Poshard has a Carterville address.
Fernando Trevino's address is not yet in the directory, but I doubt he lives in Carbondale.
Rebel Pinkston, who wrote in the Southern supporting the gift to SIU, and who is quoted in the DE, lives outside Carbondale at 29 Easthaven Drive (1/2 mi. east of Reed Station Rd., .4 mi. north of Ill 13, almost on the Williamson County line)

None of these people were able to vote for our City Council, including our mayor.

Further, Brad Cole ran on a platform of "keep[ing] costs down and slow[ing] the expansion of government." http://www.teambrad.com/html/plan.html Nowhere in his detailed plan does he even hint that he might ask the City to pay for a major capital project at the University.

There may be good arguments for the City paying for a new facility for a state institution. However, the case -- put forward primarily by people who do not vote in Carbondale -- has clearly not been made.

As several people have written, the new tax and its allocation to SIU should be subject to a referendum, so all its pros and cons can be hashed out.

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Jane, these people may not live in Carbondale. However, its safe to say that they spend a lot of their money in Carbondale. If people in Carterville and other communities in the area didn't shop in Carbondale, why your property taxes would probably go through the roof. Thousands of people in the region spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in Carbondale. They may not live in the city, but you are directly benefiting from their actions.
They spend more money than most in Carbondale because they have more to spend.

It's a sales tax, not an income tax. I live in Chester but I'll be paying when I come to SIU games in the future.

How hard is this to figure out? Thank God it passed!

The above commenter raises an interesting issue.

People who reside outside of a municipality often pay a municipal sales tax if they shop within the municipality.

Should they, then, have some say in what goes on inside the municipality? After all, they help pay for it.

Besides its regressive nature, this is probably another reason why a sales tax is not such a good source of revenue.
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