March 21, 2006


It’s voting day! I left work a tad bit early, only put in a 10-hour day, so I could go vote. At the polling place I was asked if I was Republican, Democrat or Non-Partisan. As most of you know, I choose not to affiliate myself with one of the two major parties. I don’t agree with either enough to actually consider myself one or the other. When I checked non-partisan on the form, the official made the comment, “You can only vote for the sales tax issue. You don’t get to vote in any of the primaries as non-partisan.” He was pretty rude about it.

I just replied, “That’s okay, I haven’t found a politician I’ve trusted in years. I’m not sure which spawn of Satan would be better then any of the others.” He didn’t say anything further to me.

And in case you are wondering, I voted no on the Sales-Tax referendum. The city of Rockford has requested a 1% sales tax increase. That would bring us up to 8.25% sales tax on just about EVERYTHING. We would have the second highest sales tax rate outside of Cook County, where Chicago is located. There is not a doubt in my mind this tax will pass. The residents of Rockford will vote in any tax on the ballot. I swear there is not a tax they don’t like.

I’m thinking these people would approve a referendum to send a quarter of their pay to the city for the privilege of living here if the city promised, again, to fix the roads. Every election there is a vote to increase tax of one way or another in order to pay for roads, yet the work never seems to get done. At least not for the roads they say they are going to fix. What I found funny was the wording on the ballot. “Shall the City of Rockford, Illinois impose a 1% Non-Home Rule Municipal Retailer’s Occupation Tax, Service Occupation Tax and Use Tax, for infrastructure costs and property tax relief?”

Yea, like the government is going to reduce the property taxes any. I don’t think I’ll live to see the day any local politicians do anything to either return money to their constituents or reduce taxes. I also love how they threw home rule in there so people can become more familiar with the term. For those of you that are pro-home rule, if we had it this whole issue would have gone to the council and passed. We wouldn’t have had a chance to vote on it. Remember with home rule they no longer need our approval to raise taxes.

Posted by Contagion in Home Rule at March 21, 2006 06:48 PM | TrackBack

I actually didn't bother to go to the polls because I already knew about their "If you're an independant you can't vote in the primaries" deal.
I forgot about the tax thing go - I would have gone just to vote that down.

Posted by: Shadoglare at March 21, 2006 07:37 PM

The nice thing about IL is that you can walk into the polling place and ask for the ballot you want in a primary... here in Massachusetts - you have to be registered for the party to vote in the primary!!! The woman at the city hall couldn't believe it when I told her that you don't have to do that in every state. *grin*

Often I would pick up a Republican ballot - mostly because I wanted to vote for something and the Dems always have plenty of people voting for them in IL. However, it rarely matters - especially in state politics where there doesn't seem to be much difference... they are all hideous choices.

BTW - good for you for voting against the tax increase - always vote against tax increases. *grin*

Posted by: Teresa at March 21, 2006 10:25 PM

I agree with Teresa, always vote against tax increases! Fortunately it failed to pass - 56% no! The paper already has the "poor city" story online - I can't believe there is no plan b. It was a goofy idea, the ongoing property tax each year ended up being a rolling increase as one expired and passed every year because the masses were so used to it. As you said there is no way they would reduce the property taxes if it had passed! I might have considered it if there had been a guaranteed cut and freeze for a few years.

Posted by: LifeTrek at March 22, 2006 02:33 AM

Would now be a bad time to mention that my property tax is less than $300 a year ? :)

Benton County tried that (raising it) last year but we shot it, and a millage increase , down as well.

Posted by: BloodSpite at March 22, 2006 09:16 AM

Sigh. My property tax is more than TEN TIMES Bloodspite's.

And it sounds like our area -- except every two years (on non-election years), they ask for hundreds of millions in "bonds" "for the schools."

NO ONE here grasps the concept that if the county borrows money, that they have to pay it back with tax dollars.

Posted by: Ogre at March 22, 2006 09:21 AM

Well, much depends on what you are taxing... value of house, amount of land, etc. The surprising thing is that our property taxes here in Massachusetts are less than we were paying on our house in Illinois... way less! (granted they would be higher if we lived in a different area but this house and the area are more than comparable to the one we left behind!). I'm always telling people here how much worse it could be when it comes to property tax!

Posted by: Teresa at March 22, 2006 01:13 PM