Resident suggests using gaming revenue instead of tax hike

Editor,
I want to comment on the Vandalia City Council’s proposal they are considering to put before voters a referendum to increase the local sales tax by one-half of 1 percent.
The explained reason was that the money generated would go toward funding the city’s portion of the police pension fund. Don’t get me wrong – their pensions need to be fully funded. But I would like to call attention to the public to go on line at the Illinois Gaming Board website; they will see that Vandalia’s portion of the municipality share for the first six months of 2018 was almost $95,000.
What is the city doing with this money that just a few years ago they weren’t even getting, and to what fund is it going?
Just because they had to take $50,000 from the general fund last year, doesn’t mean they don’t have the money.
And a new employee (no disrespect to her) was just hired that would take care of this amount.
The city is promoting tourism, so why do they want to squeeze our tourists, as there is always a comment about the many people who pass through Vandalia that we can get to pay a tax.
I am afraid people living in the smaller villages around will limit their buying here, then turn to the Internet to order when there are specials for free ship to home, as these people won’t pay the higher sales tax rate. 
Those living in St. Elmo or Brownstown may go to Effingham for shopping.
In summary I think it’s a bad idea, and the income from this gaming revenue, if it’s as good in the second half as the first half of the year, would amount to somewhere around $190,000, so why do we need another tax?
Grace Thull
Vandalia

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