Read my lips, No new taxes!
As President George H.W. Bush famously said, “Read my lips, no new taxes”. Now it seems that our Mayor, Board of Alderman, and Representative want us all to pay more taxes. As Reported in the June 30th Scott County Times, a resolution was passed to let the citizens of Forest vote on a 2% Tourism Tax.
The date for the election is August 17th and it will need 60% of the turnout to vote in favor of the new tax to become law. If passed, not only will it affect the thriving hotels in our city but also everyone who chooses to eat in the city. This includes all restaurants, not just sit down, but fast food as well.
Currently, Forest does not have much of a tourism trade. All we have are businessmen and women who stay in our hotels during the week. We don’t host any baseball, softball, soccer or basketball tourneys to attract people to our city. So why should we put more money in to a parks system that is not being used to its potential now?
Proponents of this tax will tell you its for kids and you should help our youth. If our local officials want to do something for our children, maybe they should spend more time on our declining public schools. Residents are flocking to private and other public schools just to get out of our city district. No potential residents with children are going to move to a city with a school district in disarray. We have parents in our city willing to pay the district $2,500 a child now just to get released. Tough luck for the ones who cannot afford it.
With where inflation is heading and the cost of living going through the roof, now is not the time to raise taxes on our already struggling citizens.
In closing, I want to encourage everyone who does not want to pay more every time they eat in the city or watch our locally owned hotels suffer lost business because of higher rates, to please vote “No New Taxes” on August 17th.