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Letter: Courthouse tax is a step backwards for Franklin County

updated: 3/20/2017 10:56 AM

To the editor:

This problem didn't just sneak up on us. I don't think that anyone would disagree that we need a new courthouse, but I'm very concerned with how this tax will affect local businesses in the area that sell bigger-ticket items. They are already paying an extra 1 percent tax for the school, so this would mean that businesses in Franklin County would have a 2 percent disadvantage over competition in other counties with lower sales tax.
On big-ticket items that adds up and makes a big difference, especially with budgets being cut left and right. Our no. 1 priority should be getting new businesses in our county, not pushing business out. Illinois isn't really a business-friendly state as it is, so the idea of having the second highest sales tax (tied with Du Quoin at 9.5 percent) in one of the poorest counties in Southern Illinois is just crazy. Why would anyone want to move their business here when places that are growing like Williamson Country are giving better incentives for them to move there?
We have to be competitive. The more business we can create, the more tax money that comes in. The more business that leaves the county, the bigger burden left on Franklin County taxpayers. In a time when the area would like to take steps to move forward, this just seems like a step backwards that will affect our economy for the next 15 to 20 years.
As a young person who is investing my future into Franklin County by keeping my family (and money) here, I am extremely concerned with the future economic growth and rising taxes that plague this state, and our county.

Kyle Wayne Neal

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