To the editor:
A few years ago, the Chesterfield County Council along with the towns of Cheraw and Chesterfield decided that we should build a spec building to attract business to the county. That building still stands empty and cost the taxpayers a great deal of money. Now, the county council has spent another $75,000 to enact a plan to extract even more of our hard-earned dollars in the form of a 1 percent sales tax increase. Never mind that this will make ours the highest tax in the state, while ranking near the bottom in income, unemployment and new business openings.
If we were Charleston, Beaufort, or Horry counties, that may be a good idea because they get a lot of tourism to help pay the extra 1 percent tax, thereby reducing the burden on the local residents. However, Chesterfield County does not have their level of tourism and most of this burden will fall upon us. With the economy the way it is,with businesses and jobs continuing to be lost, it seems rather illogical to burden our residents with yet another 1 percent sales tax to build capital projects gleaned from submitted wish lists. Our existing merchants certainly will lose business as many residents will shop in neighboring areas like Union County, N.C., where the sales tax is only 6.75 percent.
It seems to me that our county council is plagued with the same affliction as Washington D.C. politicians; spend and tax, tax and spend. With our employment picture getting worse, now is not the time to add yet another financial burden on the residents of Chesterfield County. From its very inception, the 1 percent sales tax increase was and is pure lunacy and should never have been proposed or money spent trying to sell the program to our various towns, cities and citizens. We need tax reductions, not increases, to get our economic house in order or we will never remove ourselves from our longtime economic doldrums.
Therefore, I call upon the Chesterfield County Council to vote down this ridiculous proposal. The residents of Chesterfield County are struggling enough to keep food on the table and keep mortgages paid. We do not need another tax.