By Shane Nicholson
You can’t trust your politicians anymore. You just can’t. Can’t trust them in Washington. Can’t trust them in Springfield. Here at home, we have our own qualms with a County Board under the watchful eye of the FBI and a City Council under the thumb of both HUD and the DOJ.
But you can trust policy, especially when it works. And one policy that continues to pay dividends for the Rockford community is the 1 Percent Sales Tax to benefit the Capital Improvement Project.
At a time when uncertainty reigns downstate – even as to the simple question of funding basic social services – Rockford has raised and kept $124 million of its own hard-earned dollars here to improve its infrastructure. Whereas bond debt used to weigh down the city’s ability to plan even a year in advance, now actual cash-in-hand pays to rebuild Rockford and put people to work.
Infrastructure is quite simply – after education – the most important thing a city can spend its money on. Studies show that infrastructure spending returns anywhere from $2-4 for every $1 spent. That comes not just from the direct effect of creating employment, but from the secondary impact of increased spending by businesses and individuals looking to join the Rockford community, not to mention state and federal matching funds totalling more than $100 million for the Main Street redevelopment alone.
Next Tuesday, vote for whatever politicians you believe could lead Rockford, Illinois, and the U.S. to greener pastures. But make sure you vote to extend the 1 Percent Sales Tax because it already is giving us everything we ever hoped it would.