These are not just numbers

Opinion: Letters to the editor

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This week, residents got the one-two punch of hearing that Home Owners Bargain Outlet is pulling out of Forest Park Plaza mall, and that the budget deficit could exceed $1.9 million next year. These are not just numbers. The deficit has to be made up somewhere, and if we don't stop losing revenue sources, the difference will be made up with increased property taxes.

With that in mind, now would be the worst possible time to prohibit video gaming in local establishments and cut off yet another revenue source. The machines account for nearly $200,000 in revenue every year and that number is expected to increase. At a time when shopping malls and older retail outlets like Sears are failing across the country, our economy has to find ways to adapt. Quality eating and drinking establishments that offer a wide range of entertainment to their customers are necessary for the economic health of Forest Park. 

When asked about where they would make up the lost revenue from video gaming, opponents have yet to offer anything more than some wishful thinking. Wishful thinking won't save us from higher taxes and fees. 

Don't put our local businesses at a disadvantage and don't cut off a needed revenue source at a time our Village literally cannot afford it. Vote NO on prohibition of video gaming. 

Patrick McDonald 

Forest Park resident


Editor's Note: Property taxes cover less than 20 percent of the village's revenue, with the remaining funds coming from sales taxes, fees and grants. The village levied the full amount it can for property taxes in 2016, 2017 and 2018, the calendar years video gaming has been legal in the village, said Tim Gillian, village administrator. 

The village of Forest Park is limited in its ability to increase property taxes. It is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, which limits property tax levy increases to 5 percent or the consumer price index, whichever is lower. 

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Reader Comments

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Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 1st, 2018 12:09 PM

Like brother like brother, huh Johnny?

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: November 1st, 2018 11:16 AM

Ah Billy Boy- thanks for posting what we all knew all along- You do "have difficulty getting it correct". Apologies to Geoff (Jeff) for typo, but looking back I must having been thinking Goof (good schoolyard nickname)

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 1st, 2018 8:10 AM

See... I'm having difficulty getting it correct myself.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: November 1st, 2018 7:48 AM

How, exactly, do you "misquote a statistical value incorrectly"? I mean, is their a certain way to quote a statistic incorrectly? Or can you just quote the statistic incorrectly?

Geoff Binns-Calvey  

Posted: October 31st, 2018 11:47 PM

No, John, You're wrong. Look it up. And can you lay off the bullying 4th grad schoolyard bullspit? It's not "Goof", it's not "Geoof", it's "Geoff." Pronounced "Jeff." Holy cripes.

Jerry Webster  

Posted: October 31st, 2018 10:35 PM

Gee Pam, what happened to the 170,000 the village has been getting, where did the extra 5.000 come from. Yep, you and John keep shoveling it

Pam Fontana  

Posted: October 31st, 2018 2:49 PM

And when you buy a car in Forest Park, how much of that $$ stays in Forest Park, besides the 1% sales tax? Doesn't it all go to the out of town, state, manufacturers. Tell me where you buy something where all the money stays in FP. And also tell me what other businesses contribute at least 5% of every dollar taken in to the village (and that's the minimum; add food and beverage $$ to that). And don't forget to tell us all how you and your group plan on replacing the lost $175,000 to the village if the games are removed. So far, there has not been one valid or any type of answer to that one.

John R. Hosty Jr.  

Posted: October 31st, 2018 2:40 PM

Geoof- I believe you are intentionally misquoting a statistical value incorrectly. You state "Locals have lost (around) 6 million dollars" First I believe you are taking a "played" value as "lost value". See if one puts in $20 and wins/looses the game is calculating PLAYED vs. lost. One can get alot of plays and entertainment out of $20, but "if" at the end they loose it all- the loss is only $20, not the maybe bigger amount played- nor 6 million. Also using "around" is very misleading too. Vote NO and protect our businesses and allow fair competition.

Geoff Binns-Calvey  

Posted: October 31st, 2018 12:37 PM

A) The big winners here are the gambling corporations, that take 35% right off the top. And they're all out of town, and out of state. B) The Village gets a nickel on a dollar, of the gambling losses. C) Locals have lost around 6 million dollars into the games, since it started almost two years ago. D) Have your taxes gone down, since we got video gambling in town? Everyone I know has had them go up. Whatever video gambling has brought to town- it isn't lower taxes for residents. VG is not the answer. Vote Yes to prohibit it again.

Jerry Webster  

Posted: October 30th, 2018 10:20 PM

Keep shoveling Pam, I really hope my grass will be greener come spring time

Pam Fontana  

Posted: October 30th, 2018 4:33 PM

And while the antis argue that the village 'only' gets 5% of the gaming $$ (but the village also gets licensing and machine fees and other tax revenue from the resulting extra sales of food and beverages), keep in mind that all other businesses in FP only contribute 1% (ONE PERCENT) to the pot.

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