An apology and sales tax update

It has been pointed out to me that the use of LERG in referring to proponents of our city’s one cent sales tax which will be voted on August 14 is discriminatory. I used the term that another local blogger came up with like he did – tongue in cheek, intending it (like I think its originator meant) to be a source of humor and light-heartedness. It was not taken that way by some.

While I’ve only had two conversations with people who were bothered by it, I wanted to offer an apology to any who were offended. I didn’t mean to offend. It was also pointed out to me that there are many dynamic women leaders who support the sales tax initiative, and that’s why it was discriminatory. Again, my apologies, ladies.

I must say that I’ve been surprised at the response that local bloggers’ articles about their opposition to the sales tax have received. Some have been asked to quit blogging about it; I’ve been told that I do not have the best interests of our city at heart and that I’ve been negative.

I didn’t feel like I was being negative, but rather engaging in an exchange of ideas regarding the future of our community, which I love and whose people have consistently demonstrated unswerving commitment to the common good (consider community responses to house fires, illnesses, injured police officers, hurricane relief, baseball tournaments, etc.). We live in a great community!

It is disappointing to hear that because I care deeply about our community and its people, yet think differently about an issue like a tax that I don’t care about the community and therefore am negative.

I have yet to hear compelling reasons why I should vote for this sales tax. I invite comments here to that end. I also invite any and all to share here what they think about the upcoming sales tax. Perhaps someone will be encouraged to vote, one way or the other. That’s what we want, isn’t it? A great voter turnout on August 14? In that way, we’ll know that the results are truly the will and desire of the great community we live in.

One other thing… if the sales tax passes, that’s perfectly fine with me. I am not anti-tax. I am simply pro-planning. I hope that our city and county leaders will sit down shortly after the vote, whichever way it goes, and begin extensive, visionary, cooperative planning for the benefit of everyone in our great community.

On this day...

Table of contents for Sales Tax Series

  1. City sales tax…
  2. Calling all local bloggers… chime in on the sales tax
  3. Sales tax campaign
  4. An apology and sales tax update


  1. dean says:
    gee… and there i went assuming that the discrimination charge was leveled because there are people who ARENT extraordinarily rich that are in favor of the tax. anyway, i never got the impression from either of you guys that you were using LERG in any other way BUT tongue-in-cheek, and quite frankly, the only high visibility folks i’ve seen talking pro-tax have been men, and not poor ones, either.

    i, like you, jeff, am not anti-tax, nor am i pro-conspiracy, as if tax proponents had a master plan to dig deep into my pockets dishonestly. i just hope for accountability and responsibility with WHATEVER amount of money the city takes in, from ANY source. nobody in their right mind, who has any intention of making monticello home in the long term, would want to deny the city of income that is necessary to provide services to the citizens of this town.

  2. K.T. says:
    While I am fairly pro-tax,I find the ads in the Advance horrific.I wont go into specifics in this venue,but what a turnoff!!!!!
  3. Lou Arnold says:
    Why can’t we talk about opposing the sales tax. The advance is not suppose to be opinionated yet everything is pro tax there. It just doesn’t make sense. Also in yesterday’s paper, in two different articles it had different totals on the amount money used for street repair. One says 1.7 million and the other 1.9. That is a big difference. Shouldn’t the totals be the same if they come from the same source?
  4. Jeff says:
    Another HUGE concern is that the Advance has consistently reported large amounts of monies that were “appropriated” for different things, but that does NOT mean that the money was actually spent there.

    I’ve also been disappointed by their obvious bias on this. Of course, many of the tax supporters ARE their advertisers – and big ones at that.

    Another thing… I wish they had shown how much money the city was involved in the purchase of WC Whaley and the old high school. They have consistently given us a figure that reflects income received after the sale of the high school and other properties. It’s just as important to know how much they paid and how much they sold it for. They say, “The school property acquisition cost is the net cost of the two properties after deducting the proceeds from the subsequent sale of half of the old high school property to the Drew County Developmental Disabilities Council.” What if they lost money on the overall exchange? Isn’t it important to know that they made a poor decision with our tax monies?

  5. Wade says:
    Although I feel that we pay extremely high taxes around here despite the low pay most of our citizens get….I am going to have to try and prove to most people I know that it is worth it and here’s why.

    You would think to yourself, “hey, I don’t want to pay 9 cents on the dollar anymore” and “If we eliminate the tax then we can cut alot of the frivolous spending from our budget”. Sadly this is not what would happen. The first thing to happen would most likely be cuts in employment for the city. This would not mean outing wasteful positions, but instead a loss of jobs for the people who actually keep our community clean and sanitary for the rest of us. And I for one cannot let that happen.

    And as to the advances 4 part story on the sales tax, I felt as though the articles were extremely biased as well. I have stated in other posts before that the MEDC spending article really got me a little up in arms.

    Heres an example from the july 25th issue: “The MEDC is responsible for obtaining nearly $2.9 million in grants for community needs and uses, according to MEDC grant activity records.

    Those grants include funding for the community’s school-inschool (boot camp) for students who have been suspended or expelled and otherwise would be out on the streets, bulletproof vests for local law enforcement officers, equipment for local parks, funding for the infrastructure at the industrial park, computers and equipment for the workforce training center, funds to establish a revolving loan fund for local businessmen and women who could not obtain traditional financing for their businesses, funds for a city recycling program, and funds for the city’s sidewalk project.”

    Are bulletproof vests going to bring in more business?
    What about school boot camp?
    Aren’t sidewalks considered part of infrastructure?
    Okay, so how is building sidewalks economic development? (again infrastructure)

    And as to ms Wooten using a quote from tommy maxwell that praised the MEDC even though he is the vice chaiman. (I like mr Tommy so don’t take that the wrong way, simply pointing out horrible journalistic morals).

    And finally:

    About the MEDC spending, let’s do the math shall we?

    Okay $2,600,000 divided by 10 years = $260,000 dollar per year
    $260,000 divided by 365 days = $712 dollars per day

    If you aren’t outraged, you arent paying attention 😉

  6. Jason says:
    I find it interesting that no one has made an association to where I got the term. Doesn’t anyone watch movies anymore. Ever seen the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? By the way there was a woman in that league too. I wonder why the league now known as the “pro-taxers no factsers” pick on a word used in jest but, none of them have said that we are wrong in our concerns, just the we are anti-Monticello. The problem is here is that for the last ten years our city has been operating day to day on tax dollars that were supposed to be used for extra things. Now if they don’t get it they say your streets will suffer, city services will suffer, services they are required to provide whether they have a tax or not. Why will they suffer? Ask yourself this. What is the logical conclusion that can be drawn if city services and infrastructure will suffer from loss of revenue that was supposed to be pooled as “extra money” for improvements anyway? The only conclusion that can be drawn is that the city has actually been paying salaries, bills, and day to day operational costs with that money. I mean it is not rocket science.
  7. preacher666 says:
    jeff sounds like u are still mad cause the city didnt give u the wc whaley building for ur,and i use the term loosely,church..i personally am against all taxes or at least the people who control them.rally dont think the paper is bias more like an old slut who will take money however they can get .the will even let u retards buy ads even u stepsons of retards also.oh well fixin to go start me a church so i dont have to work.hpoe the ole lady dont find out .think i got her fooled..he he
  8. Jeff says:
    “Preacher666” – I guess the unsettling thing is that I agree with part of your assessments. First, preachers can be lazy; I’m sure I’ve even contributed to that at times. However, I also know that’s because I’m only a man and I screw up. We all sin and have fallen short of giving our Creator the glory He deserves. I am supremely grateful that the cross of Christ provides forgiveness for anyone and everyone who acknowledges their rebellion and sinfulness against a loving and holy God. I don’t know how I would live daily without the assurance that my many, many failures are covered by the love of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Although, I too often meet myself coming and going since I’m bivocational. If anything, I am trying to do too much by taking on work outside the church. I’m a graphic designer on the side – not a great one, but enough to supplement my income here and there since our church is not able at this time to fully support me or our other pastor. We both intentionally have chosen to work in the community in order to build relationships and friendships (and obviously, put bread on the table when we can!) 😉

    I also tend to agree with you about taxes, though I’m not opposed to all taxes. I think they’re necessary in a way. However, as I’ve said about this tax, it concerns me that there is no real plan for its use. Just vague generalizations.

    Thanks for your comment, and if you’d like to visit our church so that we could try to dispel your concerns that it’s not a Bible-saturated, Christ-centered fellowship of believers, you would discover that you’d be welcomed humbly and gratefully.

    You might also find that you’ll receive more encouragement and dialogue with folks if you would tone down your language so that it’s not quite so harsh and angry-sounding. I know that you want people to take you seriously, right?

  9. preacher666 says:
    ok maybe u have a good church and your a decent preacher maybe not.if you are you would be the only 1 in monticello..anyhow i hope the thing doesnt pass cause i wanna see what the city can do with the same kinda buget us normal workin folks have to deal with everyday. bet all the kids still go to school and we still have roads to get em there.dont really want any new industry here myself cause of the kinda people it would attract.but i dont like the old money in this town glad when it dies out.

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