Letter to the Editor

Supports sales tax

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dear Editor,

The latest statistics available are alarming if you are concerned about the future of McCook and Southwest Nebraska. The Census Bureau estimates that McCook has lost more than 5 percent of its population since the last census was taken back in 2000.

In fact, every community in Southwest Nebraska saw a large population decline as estimated by the Census Bureau during this most recent period.

Since a majority of the costs of maintaining a city and county are fixed, that means that taxpayers of McCook and Red Willow County have had to pick up the lost tax revenue for those 5 percent of citizens who have left our area in the last six years.

The trend of higher property taxes to compensate for the loss of tax revenue from those lost residents will continue until we reverse the trend and start increasing population -- or at least stem the out migration trend. This is the major reason that I support the additional ½ percent sales tax, which will help fund an economic development plan designed to create economic opportunities to retain and bring new residents to our area.

I had the privilege of growing up in McCook and benefiting from the facilities and services that were funded with the sacrifices of those McCook generations before me. I was blessed by being nurtured by the incredible citizens of our great area.

It is now my turn to make whatever small sacrifices I can make to ensure that future generations will be able to have the opportunities I had of growing up in such a caring community.

I feel an obligation to ensure that the hard work and financial investments of those that preceded me are preserved by strengthening McCook and Southwest Nebraska's prospects for survival.

If you also would like to honor those that built an incredible community and area with blood, sweat and tears by preserving their hard work and investment, please join me in voting for the additional ½ cent sales tax and the accompanying economic development plan for our community.

Thank you.

Mark Graff,


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