Dear Editor and fellow Forest Park neighbors,
I've been a happy and cooperative resident of Forest Park for over 33 years. I am also an IL licensed Certified Public Accountant and am familiar with governmental accounting. I have read and understand the Annual Treasurer's report of the Village of Forest Park for the fiscal year ended 04/30/18 as published in the Forest Park Review on 10/10/18. It appears quite evident to me that we are about to face the loss of a budgeted $170,000 in revenue that has come from video gaming annually during the past couple of years where video gaming has been in place without incident in this village. I'd like to know how opponents of this activity think this revenue can be replaced.
Our real estate taxes are already maxed by the IL law capping the use of them for general fund purposes. Our sales tax might be an alternative and of course basic math tells us that the 1% the village can procure from sales (village gets 1% out of the 10% sales taxes charged every time we buy a beer, sandwich, appliance or car). To make up this loss of $170,000 in sales tax revenue, there would have to be an additional $17 million dollars in sales put into our retail stores in the next fiscal year. That is equal to one or a combination of the following: a) 567 cars sold at the above average price of $30k each, b)34,000 appliances sold at $500 each , or c) 3 1/2 million sandwiches sold at $5 each, in just one year, not in a McDonalds lifetime!
I don't play the video games. I've seen them and the patrons are quiet and quite nice. I know many establishments rely on the revenue after investing in structural improvements to comply with the laws and I ask that those of us following law and order must not succumb to our village going further into a deficit that can easily be resolved with this already established revenue that I'd like to see not go away.
Michael D. Newton
CPA Forest Park, IL