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Editor Paul Osborne

Based on the survey results from its membership regarding the Progressive Income Tax, the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce issued the following statement: “The Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its 650 members, opposes the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to allow a new progressive tax structure. We oppose a progressive tax because it would harm employers of all types and sizes, cost Illinois jobs, hurt workers, and allows the Legislature to raise taxes on all levels of income without limit. It would leave the door open for more than one tax on income, and on different types of income. The proposal is unclear how the anticipated increase in revenue would be allocated, giving an open checkbook to a Legislature that already has ethical challenges. “The DRCC will join the “Vote No on the Progressive Tax Coalition.”

     • ACTUALLY, the votes for and against the proposed tax amendment to the 1970 Illinois Constitution were overwhelmingly against the measure with 86% of the members giving it a thumbs down and just 14% voting in favor of the progressive income tax. The totals are fairly recent with the results from the survey conducted just last month. I’ve been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for a long time and I totally agree with the results in the survey and the position the Chamber has taken regarding the tax amendment.

     As a business owner in Illinois for well over a half century, I’ve watched and been impacted by more and more taxation, restrictions and intrusive mandates that make operating a business in this state more difficult with each passing year. Giving our state government a blank check for unlimited taxation in the future is crazy — based on how our General Assembly has handled financial matters and taxed the daylights out of businesses (especially small businesses) and residents for decades.

     Don’t be fooled by the “fair” tax advertising where only rich people are going to see their taxes increase. That’s only a ploy, in my opinion, to get you to vote for the amendment and then lawmakers will have the authority to do what they want down the road. Besides, the rich this is suppose to impact, have the resources to make sure it doesn’t impact them that much. “VOTE NO” to the amendment on election day. We’ve been fooled too many times with empty promises by a state government that has an insatiable appetite to consume our hard-earned money while proclaiming it is the “fair” thing to do.

     • CONCERN — According to the last report by the City of Decatur: “New COVID cases per 100,00 population has spiked to 165 and our positivity rate has jumped to 7.2% which is the highest we have seen in Macon County. If our positivity rate crosses to 8% it could result in Macon County being put on the warning list. We have to work together to get our numbers down by continuing to wear masks and avoiding large group gatherings. “Free testing remains available thanks to Crossing Healthcare and Illinois Department of Public Health at the Civic Center parking lot from 8:00 a.m. until Noon, Monday through Friday.”

     • I WALKED into a local food service business to pick up an order to take back to my office the other day. The business had a sign on the door that there would be no service without a face mask. All those working inside the business were wearing face masks, the tables were spaced to allow for social distancing for anyone who wanted to stay and eat inside. There was also a plexiglass divider where the cashier stood and it was apparent the business had taken every precaution to comply with sensible regulations to keep those buying a meal there safe. I was the only customer in the business as I waited for my order to be finished — and then… a middle-aged man walked in with no face mask and ordered his meal. He then walked past me to go to another part of the business and get a soft drink acting as if he had no problem possibly infecting others or harming the future of the business.

     Obviously, it was all I could do to keep from saying something to him, but I probably would have enraged him to the point that he would have thrown a punch or gotten into my face yelling and spreading possible COVID-19 droplets on me and in the business. As soon as my order was finished I got out of there and wondered to myself if I would return. I can’t blame small business owners for not confronting those who think the “wear a mask” sign is for “other people”, because they don’t want a confrontation. What part of “must wear a mask to be served” is hard to understand?

     I’ve come to the conclusion that we must have a high illiteracy rate in our community because several people apparently can’t read wording on signs!

     Stay safe in this difficult time.

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     I enjoy discussing the issues impacting our community with Brian Byers every Thursday morning at 7:00 on City Hall Insider on WSOY’s Byers & Co. 



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