By: Diane Benjamin
This is a letter sent to the Normal Council before they voted for the 1% Sales Tax increase. It didn’t receive a response, Normal raised the Sales Tax anyway. Emails and letters aren’t going to stop Bloomington – only a room full of angry citizens will get their attention!
Here’s the letter:
We see in the paper that the sales tax increase is poised to get a yes vote from the Council. Some thoughts on this “sure to go through” increase.
First: Town of Normal got an automatic increase when our Ameren rates skyrocketed by 30%.
Town gets 5.15 % of Nicor gas bill.
Town gets 1.5% of Sales tax from sales in Normal
Town gets .75 Use Tax for titled items such as vehicles
Town gets 4 cents a gal on every gal of gasoline
Town gets 6% of gross telecommunications charges, also Cable
Current Rate for Real Estate Taxes are .91581 coming to $300 for a very modest home
A Homeowner pays these taxes to Normal, but they also must pay Skyrocketing EPA charges, including Water Runoff charges, Federal, State, Airport, Schools, roads, library, Community college, Auto License, Drivers license, on and on. No wonder so many people have to give up home ownership and even rental and become homeless. It seems that tax money disappears in a big black hole. There are some people who can’t make it any more.
I ask you not to put any more taxes on us. We are crushing under the weight. Remember that every other entity is poised to add taxes as well.
Spending in Normal is as if we had unlimited funds. Just an example is the Bump-outs on Bryan Street. The goal seems to be to obstruct and impede auto traffic. The curbs have tire marks on every one as drivers try to make the difficult turn. The bump-outs have been constructed at great cost, then were landscaped and have on-going expenses for upkeep. Jerking out some plants, putting in new ones, new mulch, then the worker with a water wagon truck comes out to water them. I’m all for beauty, but in people’s property, not on city property with much upkeep. I am concerned that the city is planning on more bump-outs in this continuation of the expensive plan for uptown . Which brings us to the subject of Consultants which many are considering unnecessary, but a political advantage.
The plans for bicycle lanes in Bloomington/Normal are very troublesome. A relative who drives a Semi in Chicago says it is a challenge to drive around the bicycle lanes which compromises his safety as well as the bike rider.
Concerning the proposed uses for sales tax money, can’t there be some creative uses for the many sports fields that we have already instead of building a Big Soccer Complex? Once that is started, everyone has input about adding more amenities, then they will be asking for MORE money, not just from Normal, but the state and federal which is still our money.
The idea of asking certain people what they would do with a tax bonanza instead of finding the money for a special need seems to be counter-productive. It’s like asking your teenager ‘What would you want if we have unlimited money?” Have mercy on the taxpayer!