April 19, 2007

Boycott Rockford Illinois

The citizens of Rockford have voted in the 1 percent sales tax increase. That gives the City of Rockford the second highest property AND sales tax in the state of Illinois. That means I am going to boycott Rockford.

Now before I get the normal comment about growing up and to quit pitching a fit, let me explain. Yes, this makes more sense then the bond issues we issued to fix the roads. I was always against the bonds because it was like using a credit card to pay for the roads. There was a lot of interest and we ended up paying a lot more to have work done than it should have. Not that I believe that all that money actually went to the roads, but thatís a topic for another time. But I honestly believe that if the Rockford government better managed its money instead of wasting it on various projects, the roads could get fixed with out the sales tax.

This tax increase is just the cherry on top of the ďHow to get more money from the publicĒ sundae. If we look at the new taxes that the State wants (Sales, Income and Gross Receipts), any increase the Federal Government may want to pass, inflation, the overall cost of living increases and increased property value, we have to wonder if the government wants us to just turn over one paycheck a month to them. Part of the misinformation used to pass this bond was that it was going to lower property taxes. When in all actuality it is only going to cause them not to increase as much. Just in increased property value based on the assessment this year, our property taxes are going to increase. The average reduction due to this bond value is something like $14.00. Also remember we just sold bonds to renovate the Metrocentre and buy a hockey team.

Many will, and have said to me that the overall cost is not going to be that much. They would be right, if I spent $50,000.00 a year on items other then groceries, medication and titled property (The only things this tax does NOT apply to, it does apply to services) Iíd only pay $500.00 more this year. For actual figures on the average family in Rockford in 2001 see this comparison. That is not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. But on the other hand, that is a hell of a lot more then the $14.00 savings we are getting from our property tax. This brings my next favorite comment, ďYouíre being foolish by driving the extra distance to buy products outside of the city. Youíre spending more money in gas.Ē Well yes and no. I travel outside the city limits daily, so Iím not really going out of my way. But even if I did have to, itís not that Iím trying to save money by doing this. Itís a protest, out of principle. I am tired of the government taking my money just so they can mismanage it. Just so they can spend it on frivolous items like a river walk and waste it on Mayoral spending.

Let me put it in a way that we should all be able to understand. You own a home. You want to get new furniture, a new TV, some new carpet and a better dishwasher this year. All of a sudden your car dies and you need to come up with an additional $2,000.00 to get it fixed. Now youíve budgeted and have the money for the furniture, TV, carpet and dishwasher with out putting a hardship on your finances. What do you do? You have a couple of choices. You either forgo getting one or a couple of the other items you budgeted for, donít get the car repaired at this time, try to get a loan or pay with a credit card. Well as we all know the later two are going to cause you to earn interest. So you are going to end up paying more for the items then they are worth. The best way to get your car fixed is to not get one or more of the items you had budgeted. What you wouldnít do is go to your employer and demand a salary increase to cover your expenses. If you did, your employer is more then likely going to laugh at you. Trust me on this, I tried it out just to see what happened and my manager just kind of laughed and said no. Even after I explained how urgent it was.

Well thatís kind of like the government. They overspent, they didnít budget accordingly and now they are turning to their employer, the people, and asking for a raise. Yet we gave it to them. We didnít demand they do better with the money they have, we just threw more money at them. Partially because they threatened not to fix the roads if we didnít approve this tax.

The worst part is the wording of this referendum. They toted it was for the roads, but the actual wording is;

ďShall the City of Rockford, Illinois impose a sales tax, for expenditure on public infrastructure, of 1% of gross receipts on person engaged in the business of selling or transferring personal property other than food, medicine and titled property, at retail or incidental to the sale of service, until December 21, 2012.Ē

Expenditure on public infrastructure? If they are only going to use it to fix the roads, why not say that? Public infrastructure is a pretty broad term that can include many different things from transportation to just about anything that could be viewed as helping the public. Try searching for it, seriously. Since I donít have any trust for our city government to begin with, I can see them siphoning money out of this to all their little pet projects that helps the publicÖ like a new hockey team. Okay, Iím stretching it a little there.

So there it is, Iím done with Rockford. I live here, but Iím going to do everything in my power to not purchase anything with in the city limits once it goes into effect. That includes going to local eating and drinking establishments. And I would encourage anyone that wants to send a message to the government to do the same. Let them know weíre tired of them taking our money. Weíd rather choose how to spend our money then to give it over to them. Visitors to our city, I would recommend trying to avoid any establishments in the city limits of Rockford after July 1st. Bring anything you need with you and if you are spending the night or eating here, travel to Cherry Valley, Loves Park or Machesney Park. You may end up saving yourself a little money.

Posted by Contagion in Politics at April 19, 2007 06:10 PM | TrackBack

**cue bad 70's music**

Come to THE Valley. Good people. Good food. No extra tax.......

Posted by: Tammi at April 20, 2007 05:08 AM

The Wife and I were talking about this very thing. We'll do our shopping in Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park & Belvidere. Screw Rockford & all it's sheople!

I can't wait to move the f**ck outa here!

Posted by: Wes at April 21, 2007 12:01 PM

They tried the "local option" sales tax here in CR & it, fortunately, bombed.

One selling point they used was visitors will now pay their fair share! OK, what about the people who live here? We pay that so-called "fair share" (commie term) every day of the year now.

All for some stupid river run project that everyone thought would bring more business/tourism to Cedar Rapids,IA. Yeah, not much of that here & if they want more, they can move the trash dump somewhere better than downwind from downtown...of course, they'd want to raise taxes for that.


Posted by: Hapkido at April 21, 2007 10:36 PM