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GUEST COLUMN: Where did the tax money go?

I think most everyone has heard the old saying, that you are guaranteed two things in life: death and taxes. Illinois is about right in the middle when comparing land mass with the other 49 states. However, Illinois is one of the top five most populous states; hence a lot of taxpayers and still not enough.

We the people pay an abundance of taxes to reside in the land of Lincoln. You name it and it’s taxed. They now have taxed gasoline even higher and raised our license plate stickers to help pay for roads and bridges. What about the taxes we have already been paying; where’s the tax money??

They have also put pay tolls on some highways to help with the initial construction costs. The roads have long been paid for, but the pay tolls continue. They say to help with road maintenance, which doesn’t cost what the initial construction did. Where’s the toll money??

When the Illinois state lottery was introduced, the money generated was supposed to help with the schools and roads. Many schools have closed or merged and our roads are nothing to brag about. Where’s the lottery money??

My girlfriend and I attended a wedding in Joliet a few months ago. Many, including us, stayed at the Harrah’s Hotel/Casino and were shuttled to the reception, which was very nice. The next morning we walked to a small cafe near the casino. While enjoying our brunch, you could view many gambling machines. I was a bit surprised at the abundance of people already gambling, for it was only 10 a.m. Sunday morning. I can only imagine the Friday or Saturday night crowd. Also, both large cities and small towns have numerous legalized gambling facilities and legal gambling machines, in many taverns. I have nothing against gambling and I hope people enjoy them, but where’s the tax money??

Chicago is a beautiful city with all the entities of the urban jungle. But is the Windy City paying enough taxes to Illinois or taking too much from it?

I think Illinois residents must also pay extra taxes, for we have to house some of our governor’s on their “extended vacations,” after all, incarceration isn’t free. We also have to pay for some of those crooked politicians who dip their fingers in the till one too many times. Maybe we should put an excise tax on toilet paper and diapers for all the bull ---- they tell us.

I heard these words in a sermon: You will have a hard time remembering all the compliments and handshakes, but will never forget hurtful or ill words said about you. I think the same can be said for our politicians. You will have a hard time remembering the good politicians and/or all the good they have done. But, people seem to never forget the bad politicians and/or the bad they may have done.

Again, the old saying of death and taxes. I hope we all pay taxes for a long time, even though it’s way too much. But I will always wonder, WHERE’S ALL THE MONEY????

HANK WALSH III is a lifelong Ottawa resident.

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