Letter to the Editor: Giles Has Helped Reduce Costs, Allowed for Planned Growth
Mar 12, 2015 12:58PM ● Published by Steven Jack
On Monday, I had the opportunity to attend the Candidate Forum for the positions of Trustees and President for the Village of Oswego. Congratulations and thank you to all who participated. You were able to discuss your platforms and allowed the residents to learn more about you and about your vision for Oswego.
I am writing this letter to express my support for Tony Giles for Oswego Village President. Tony has spent the last 8 years trying to fix mistakes made by previous boards. He, along with the other board members have done a great job of continuing to reduce costs and at the same time, allowed for planned growth that would benefit the residents (taxpayers) of this Village.
He has looked for an even playing field as it relates to new business development and existing business owners. He has voted “no” to special discounts, reduced fees and special incentives for new businesses and developments. Even without these special incentives, Oswego’s retail businesses have continued to grow.
According to the candidates, 52 new businesses opened in Oswego in the last year. Oswego has done a great job of bringing in new retailers the last few years. It was pointed out in tonight’s forum by multiple candidates that half of the retail sales for the Village comes from consumers outside of Oswego.
It was also pointed out by multiple candidates, including Gail Johnson and those trustee candidates that support her, that our tax rate of 7.75% is lower than all of the surrounding communities who have higher tax rates. Gail Johnson said she would increase the sales tax in order to match the surrounding communities.
If we raise our sales tax to match the surrounding communities, we take away the incentive for them to come here and shop. If they are not saving money by driving to Oswego to do their shopping, they will shop in their community. A sales tax rate increase would actually have the opposite effect.
Consumers outside of the Village would start shopping in their communities and the tax payers who live and own property in Oswego will end up paying more. Tony Giles has voted no to the sales tax increase and the Motor Fuel Tax increase twice in the last year (January 20, 2015 and April 29th, 2014).
Gail Johnson voted yes to both of those increases. If those increases go through, my belief is that the 50% who live outside of the Village limits will now shop outside of the village limits.
I was very impressed with Tony’s presentation. He was very prepared to back up his platform with specific examples of how he has balanced and will continue to balance our budgets. He had concrete budget numbers and gave specific examples of where the Village would be able to use funds to cover our expenses in the short term and had good plans in place to help make Oswego a better place to live long term as well. I am happy to vote for Tony Giles for Village President of Oswego.