In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. This phrase holds true today as it did over 200 years ago. Since this phrase was first used, our lifespan has more than doubled, which is good, but Illinois residents pay the second-highest property taxes in the country, which is very bad.
If you are a homeowner, you know from past tax bills that property taxes are a certainty to keep rising in the future, putting more financial burden on you and your lifestyle.
But there is a way the city can lessen its tax burden onto you by making a fair way for all residents and visitors to contribute in offsetting your property tax bill.
Also, Vandalia’s crumbling, 70-year-old water treatment plant has to be replaced with a cost of over $21 million dollars with a completion date within a few years.
At the Sept. 17 city council meeting, the city council did not raise your water bill for the coming year mainly because our investments pertaining to the water plant have shown good earnings in the last year, offsetting some of the costs of running the plant.
But it is a certainty you could see a 15-percent rise on your water bill in the future if we do not find a way to offset a portion of paying for the new treatment plant onto visitors who stop in Vandalia to dine and buy from our local merchants.
The way we can do this is to vote yes on the Nov. 6 ballot to raise sales tax just one-half percent.
This increase will be earmarked only to be used for the police pension fund, the city’s largest expense from property tax contributions, and infrastructure, which will help pay for the new water plant.
Let’s face it – one way or another you as a homeowner and city water user will be paying to cover these costs, so why not spread some of the burden to all residents and visitors.
And, yes, you as a property owner will also pay a higher sales tax, but the offset of adding all residents and visitors into the mix will greatly outweigh what you will be paying if this sales tax increase is not approved.
We, as property owners, all know it is certain that death and taxes are here to stay, but we now embrace longer lives, so let’s ease our tax burden, so we can enjoy it.
Make it fair for all – vote Yes on Nov. 6 for the sales tax increase.
Ken Hubler, Vandalia