Letters to the Editor 02/28/19
The election is over, and it’s time to start raising taxes and hope the public gets collective amnesia before the next election.
One of the more interesting proposals is the five cent per plastic bag tax presented by Governor Pritzker. Here’s the problem. It may bring in $200,000 but to implement it, the Department of Revenue will have to create a new software program, hire staff to administer and all businesses affected will have to reprogram cash registers to handle the five-cent transaction. This will cost the state and affected private sector businesses millions to collect an insubstantial tax.
If the politicians are serious about this tax, how about charging 10 cents per plastic bag (as many states do now) and then rebating three cents per bag – returned to the business or to registered recycling centers – to be reimbursed by the state. This would turn rag pickers into bag pickers, clean up our streets and highways and provide the homeless with alternative income other than standing on street corners with a cardboard sign. I remember as a kid going to the park and cleaning out trash barrels of beverage bottles at two cents a bottle to buy pop and candy at the swimming pool. The glass industry killed this adolescent entrepreneurialism by eliminating recyclable bottles.
Full disclosure: I have a large cardboard box at home with about a cubic yard of plastic bags I recycle annually, but beer money is beer money, no matter how obtained.
KEEP PARK PRE-K
The Springfield community learned this past week that the Springfield Park District Board is considering shuttering the preschool in Washington Park. In my delving into this matter, as my granddaughter attends the school, I was told the board is questioning whether the Park District should be in the education business (although there are many park districts in Illinois that do operate preschools).
This past week at the Park District board meeting, the Washington Park community answered this question with a resounding “yes.” Residents and taxpayers spoke of the quality and value of the program, endorsed the use of the pavilion property for the preschool and spoke of the Park District’s responsibility to children and families as the heart of all Park District programming. No one voiced the view that the preschool should be closed.
The community and the children have spoken. The question now is, will the Park District listen? There are full classrooms of kids at Washington Park Preschool waiting for the answer.