Letter to the Editor

June 2 election: A fight for your neighbors

Friday, May 29, 2020

During this recent pandemic we were all quick to embrace and share statements like “Stronger Together” or “We are all in this together.” We all supported our first responders, our healthcare workers, the health department, etc. On June 2nd (with a YES vote) you will be able to show your support for your neighbors.

These are the people who you go to church with, the people who sponsor our children/grandchildren’s Little League baseball team. I am talking about supporting our local, small business owners.

They have been unfairly competing against the online giants for years. Places like Amazon are NOT paying local real estate/property taxes, are NOT paying local wages to our friends/family, are NOT supporting our local programs like Boys & Girls Club, youth sports, etc. and are not tithing to our local churches.

They are also NOT collecting local sales tax, which means our local government is having less money year after year for things like police/fire protection, downtown revitalization, road maintenance, public swimming pools and event centers, the art museum, etc.

I can hear some of my close friends saying/thinking, “but Steve, why are you promoting a tax?”

Trust me, I do not like taxes any more than the next guy, but we are already getting taxed on every good and service we purchase here in Poplar Bluff. Voting yes for the Use Tax allows us to even the playing field with the Amazon’s of the world.

They should be required to collect the sales tax (a little over 2 cents per dollar), just like our local shops. A recent Fortune magazine article stated that Walmart’s online sales in the U.S. rose 74% during the COVID19 pandemic. Meanwhile, GlobalData Retail reported that more than 250,000 retail stores were forced to close during the same timeframe.

It has been estimated that over 15,000 stores will close permanently. We all have an important decision on June 2. Are we all in this together? Do we truly care about our neighbors? Please do not let an extra 2 cents per dollar discourage you from supporting your fellow Poplar Bluffians. There have been 175 cities in Missouri pass a Use Tax; let’smake it 176.

Vote YES June 2nd.

God bless,

Steve Halter

Poplar Bluff