Use sales taxes downtown
For the past few months, I've been suffering a severe case of apathy about the future of McCook.
Then began the propaganda from City Hall on the sales tax issue. They tell us it is necessary to the survival of our town and we need to make it permanent (read that "no accountability").
That causes me to ask, how did McCook pay for streets, sidewalks, parks, water and sewer stuff, etc. etc., without the sales tax?
How did they sell bonds without the sales tax? They did it somehow for 117 years! Maybe they were better money managers than recent decades of city government.
They threaten us, if you don't approve the extension, we'll have to raise property taxes ... in other words if they can't get it from our right hand pocket, they'll take it from our left. If we do the math, factoring in the sales tax savings on our water, sewer, phone, cable, electric and natural gas bills, most of us would be better off with our property taxes maxed out and no sales tax.
If you think a sales tax without a sunset is a good idea, I'll put you in touch with a fella looking for investors for a coconut plantation north of town.
Last year the city's cash went from 8.43 million to 8.97 million. The collected $540,000 more in taxes than they needed!
Five years ago, they promised us the sales tax would resurface Whomp, Whomp Avenue ... AKA West J. It hasn't been done.
The tax must have a sunset, preferably three years, but five max. If accountability is a problem for the city, maybe we should clean house.
It is time for the tax to be used to benefit commerce in McCook. If we don't improve the retail sector, the only street improvement plan we'll need to work on is how to fold 'em up.
Tax dollars need to be spent on downtown to make it attractive to new retailers and an exciting place for shoppers.
Downtown is terminal. Our largest building, the Keystone, has been vacant for years ... the Southwest corner of West 1st and C has been vacant for years.
We recently lost Ben Franklin, which created a huge hole, soon another big cavity will be created when McCook Pharmacy moves to No. 83.
Taxes and government funding are the only thing that can turn it around. Those who take our money and put it in their purse need to begin spending some on projects that will pursue prosperity.
Twenty-five percent of sales tax revenues must be committed to downtown, including grants to worthy projects like the Keystone, heck maybe we could have movies a few times a week at the Fox again.
Aren't dreams fun?
I urge you to let your councilman know how you want your money spent.