Local Retailer Opposes Sales Tax Hikes

March  14, 2014

A store in the Illinois Quad Cities will lose business if Rock Island County voters approve a couple of sales tax referenda in next week's election. That's according to George Bingham, General Manager of Teske's Pet and Garden. He's in charge of both stores, one is located on 16th Street in Moline and the other is in Bettendorf.

Bingham says, "It'll kill us," referring to the possibility that voters approve both sales tax proposals on Tuesday's ballot. One referendum is a one percent increase to pay for school building improvements. The other is a one-quarter of one percent hike for public safety in Rock Island County. "I think it's the worst idea ever. First off, the school board and the county need to have some kind of accountability for what they've done. And you know they're gonna lie to use because they're Illinois government, and they don't know the truth if it shot 'em in the face. So basically what we're doing is sending more homeowners, more shoppers and more everybody over to Iowa. I mean people already go over there just to get gas." 

Business at the Moline Teske's store is already suffering. Bingham says that's because  people are moving away from the Illinois Quad Cities, and high taxes. "Between the school board and the county, they actually want two more percent that they're gonna be puttin' up next year or whenever they have a chance. So we're talkin' going from 7 1/2 to 10 1/2."

Currently, in the Iowa Quad Cities, the sales tax rate is 7%, while in Moline and Rock Island it's 7.5%. If Rock Island County voters say "YES" to both sales tax hikes, the rate will be 8.25%. 

Here's an example for comparison. The sales tax on a $500 appliance at local Iowa stores is $35.00. In Illinois, add $2.50 ($37.50). If voters approve both referenda, the sales tax on the same appliance will add $6.25 ($41.25).