Carbondale Chamber opposes countywide sales tax increase - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Carbondale Chamber opposes countywide sales tax increase

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

Residents in Jackson County, Illinois will be considering a one percent sales tax increase to support school facilities in the next election.

If passed, the sales tax on most retail purchases in the county will go up by one percent.

The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors affirmed a resolution from the group's Economic Development Committee speaking out against the sales tax at its Oct. 19 meeting.

"The Chamber holds strongly to the importance of our children and our schools," Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Les O'Dell said. "However or organization feels that this proposed tax increase will have a negative effect on retailers and restaurants in our community and county."

O'Dell said research presented to the committee showed that, if passed, a disproportional amount of the new revenue, earmarked for the construction and maintenance of school facilities across the country, would be generated in Carbondale, compared to funds distributed to Carbondale schools.

"While the Chamber holds the needs of students in high regard and is aware of the need for funding - especially for facilities, we do not believe this form of revenue to be the best solution," he said.

According to the Chamber, the tax would make Carbondale's retail sales tax among the highest in Illinois, and that is a source of anxiety to the Chamber, he explained, expressing concerns that higher sales tax may drive business to other communities or online.

He added that as a sales tax is considered a regressive tax, it will have more impact on those with lower incomes, including southern Illinois University students.

Additionally, the Chamber affirmed a second resolution from the committee in support of the amendment to the Illinois state constitution also on the Nov. 8 ballot. This amendment would restrict the use of state revenue generated specifically for roads and transportation from being used by governments for any other purpose.

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