Letter to the Editor
Toll booth would be better than commuter tax
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
To the editor:
The new Cape Girardeau mayor's concept for raising taxes by using a commuter or city earnings tax is only passing the buck to nonresidents who choose not to live in Cape for various reasons, but work there in order to put food on the table. I would think that if Cape needs more revenue the correct place to start is with the citizens who utilize city services all the time. Nonresidents use the streets, but they pay gas tax and sales taxes.
I lived in St. Louis County and worked in St. Louis for nearly 40 years and have had some experience with that city's earnings tax. When nonresident federal employees working in St. Louis complained about the tax, officials turned a deaf ear to them.
If you want to tax commuters, why not put up a toll booth? It would be smarter to collect from everyone using city facilities, rather than just a chosen few. A toll sounds a lot more equitable to me than taxing someone for the privilege of working in and driving on Cape's streets, which as I recall were somewhat bumpy during my last trip home.
The punch line here is the fact that Cape obviously needs to raise more revenue to pay for city services but hasn't really looked at new methods for doing so. Everyone should face up to the fact that you have to pay your fair share, like raising the sales tax or generating more interest in shopping in Cape.
Kimberling City, Mo.