On September 13, 2011, the City of Cherokee Village will hold a special election on a proposed one percent sales tax. We are writing to voice our support for the tax and to urge others to vote yes.
In the last few years, Cherokee Village has lost shared revenues from the Suburban Improvement District (SID), due to property owners defaulting on payments to SID. This is likely due to the economy.
In the last year, the shortfall was over $200,000. We moved here four years ago and we are beginning to see problems in the city's infrastructure--crumbling roads and facilities e.g. If this decline continues, our property values will decrease even more than they have from the recent national housing crisis. I understand that the city council has already made significant cuts in personnel costs etc., and that cuts to essential services such as fire and emergency are now in jeopardy unless solutions to the shortfalls are found.
Though not a complete solution, a one percent sales tax can help by providing much needed revenue to our city. It is a fair tax because it is shared by all residents and visitors. A sales tax grows as the economy grows and a one percent tax is small enough that it will scarcely be noticed by businesses or consumers. A significant portion of the taxes collected will be paid by tourists and other visitors. Taxes are collected on goods at point of delivery rather than point of purchase, so large ticket items that are purchased outside our city can begin to benefit the city.
We understand that this tax will be painless to collect since the state does all of the necessary paperwork for businesses. All of our surrounding "sister cities" already have a sales tax so there is clear precedence for us to do so.
We've heard the objection that people would rather have a tax for a new hospital. If the area does obtain a hospital or a 24/7 emergency center, such an initiative would be funded by a county or quad-city tax that would affect all cities so it is really a separate issue.
Thank you for the opportunity to voice our views on this important topic.
Rollie and Sharon Vander Zyl
Cherokee Village, AR