Pella Chronicle

Letters to the editor

February 24, 2011

Letter to the editor

Pella — To the editor,

After reading the recent letter to the editor about the Local Option Sales and Service Tax (L.O.S.S.T.), I had to admit to having mixed feelings about it myself in the past. My first thought was, “Another tax!”, but I’ve slowly done an about face on the issue.

Weighing in heaviest in its favor is the 20% that will go toward property tax relief. I don’t know about you, but I doubt that 1% of what we spend (going toward L.O.S.T.) will outweigh the amount we’ll save in property taxes. That doesn’t help everyone, but I think other benefits do.

Infrastructure improvements and repairs (such as roads and underground electrical) do end up benefitting us all, but I would like to argue that the other “fluff” mentioned in the letter benefits us as well. Our kids are grown so we can’t tell you where all the best area playgrounds are anymore, and I’ve never been in the new outdoor pool myself; but just because I don’t use them doesn’t mean they’re not important to the community as a whole. Many other people use them, and they’re the type of things that attract new residents.

Serving on the parks board the past few years has given me new respect for Pella, even though I’ve lived here 30 years. How amazing for a city our size to have about 20 parks, including an 83-acre nature wonderland (Big Rock Park is my favorite)! I hear of people who visit Pella just because of its remarkable and well-maintained parks and flower beds, and that’s not even touching on the bike trails and many other recreational opportunities that bring people to the area. And those people who visit and shop here help maintain it just a little with L.O.S.T. What may seem like fluff to some may be the very factors that help preserve our county’s vitality.

I agree that the decision for a 12-year commitment is difficult to make during hard economic times. We can’t see the future. But this isn’t a per-person out-of-pocket tax; it’s a tax only on what we spend, so our own fiscal restraint automatically means lower personal L.O.S.S.T. taxes. Anyway, I’m voting YES.

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