Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Local Politix


I live in a county in the fine state of Illinois that includes the City of Chicago. In relative terms, I actually live pretty far from the actual city.

Where I live also happens to be right on the border with another county. Only reason I love in this county is the property taxes are much lower. I actually work in the other county.

First, my home county upped taxes on cigarettes in accordance with outlawing smoking indoors anywhere. I believe individual businesses should be able to make the decision, but in the end it's probably saved me money since we go to the other county (without extra cigarette taxes) to buy smokes. And I haven't been to a bar since the new law passed, and I probably won't find myself at a bar in this county while they have that law in the near to far future.

Already this year, the head of the county (a man "elected" to the position after his well-connected father and friends pretty much handed it to him -- I didn't vote for the guy) has proposed a new sales tax. I can drive to one of two very nearby counties and save 2.5% - 3%. Why the hell would I still shop around here?

Already, the Menards that is about four blocks away is moving to a new location in one of the cheaper counties, and the new location is... about three blocks away from my house. Whole Foods is moving "up the street" to the cheaper county (and, frankly, where more of their shoppers probably hail from, it's a ritzier area). I'm sure my own town will feel the sting with these big businesses leaving, and likely more on the way.

The tax hike - we're told - is largely to pay for regional transit costs. Mostly the city of Chicago's infamous El system. I used it when I lived in the city, but even when I lived close to the city limits but worked/went to school in the city, it was much more enjoyable to take the regional transit system, the Metra trains. Metra is not in nearly the financial pickle that the El system is. And it's cleaner, more reliable, run better... and no one who uses it really minds that it costs a little more.

So, higher taxes, to help pay for something I don't plan on using. My own town, loosing businesses. My own self fully planning on going to another county for all my personal and food shopping.

And the county leader, who voted in the tax hike... unwilling to come to my town and 'splain himself. He was supposed to come to a meeting tomorrow night... but right about 5pm today there was a press release issued saying he wouldn't come.

Taxation without representation, everbody. It sucks.

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