Sales tax increase offers no benefit

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

Recently, the small, hometown business feeling in Morton has come under attack. The Morton Economic Development Council has decided that it is necessary to improve the storefront properties of the businesses along Main Street.

This, at first glance, may seem like a noble cause. However, it is the means by which the EDC plans on accomplishing this goal that are rather disturbing. They plan on raising the sales tax in Morton 0.25 percent on all businesses in order to improve the storefronts of just the Main Street businesses. I am just curious as to why businesses that will receive absolutely no benefit from this tax pay into this fund at a cost to their sales. In my opinion, the sales tax should only come from the businesses benefiting from it.

However, here arises a problem. The businesses on Main Street that would most benefit generate little or no sales tax to begin with because most of these businesses are non-sales-tax-generating establishments. This is why they rely on sales-oriented businesses to pay for their improvements.

Also, I would like to point out the recent Main Street improvements done to some of the businesses that were privately funded. Will the private funders be reimbursed or will they be out of luck?

With the village board facing a looming budget deficit, it would be more prudent to apply the tax increases to pay down the deficit, something that would benefit everyone.

But, to be honest, just because Morton enjoys a lower sales tax than neighboring communities does not mean we need to raise it. It sounds like more government in action to me. And, judging from how government has handled everything else, I don’t see how a sales tax increase will benefit anyone.

Steve Zimmerman