To the Editor:
I feel compelled to answer Jeff Pogue’s last Capitol report about the state park in Oregon County. I think there is another way to look at this. His contention that the county will lose taxes is shortsighted. Ranch land is taxed at a minimal rate and ranchers and farmers do not pay sales tax on goods for their business.
On the other hand, in the one weekend of the open house for the new park many people came into the Oregon County to spend time there looking over the beautiful countryside. They spent more money and generated sales taxes and supported many different types of businesses. If indeed this park is finally opened, and the history of this land involved is promoted as the place where the “Beatles” had a several day retreat during their tour of America, people will come from all over the country to see this place and spend money and time in Oregon County. This will generate more jobs and businesses and raise taxes for Alton and the county.
The Midwest is full of small towns that are drying up even though farmers and ranchers still operate the land. I believe if this land is sold from our park system it would be an opportunity lost.