Bad time to raise sales tax

Dear Editor:

During this time of high unemployment, very high cost of gas, food, utilities and an uncertain economy, it does not make sense for the city of Antioch to raise its sales taxes. The city will be creating another burden on residents already struggling to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Increasing the sales tax will not be a guaranteed reliable, steady stream of revenue. During low economic activity, city revenues decrease and the probability of more layoffs of city employees remain a threat. New businesses would not view higher sales taxes as an incentive to locate in Antioch. We must attract more businesses, and in turn bring more jobs into the city.

Antioch must increase the number of police officers and community service officers to address the crime that negatively impacts our quality of life. Code enforcement activity has to be increased to address blight.

Antioch needs a steady stream of revenue and I submit that since all businesses pay a license fee to do business in Antioch -- then, non-owner occupied rental property dwellings should be included in this fee paying structure. Rental property owners are running a business and it makes sense that the city should collect a license fee from them. This would be a reliable, steady stream of income that would provide an estimated $2.5 million per year based on a fee of $20.00 per unit, per month on approximately 11,000 rental units in this city.


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Two initiatives have been proposed as potential ballot measures for this November 2013. One is a half-cent sales tax increase and the other is the $20.00 per month, per unit business license fee.

Antioch voters; for a steady stream of funds for the city of Antioch, funding that will not be subject to a decrease/increase of sales taxes -- please say "Yes" to a business license fee on non-owner occupied rental properties.

Marie Livingston

Antioch

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