We are in a life and death struggle in the city of Benton Harbor. Our living conditions in the city of Benton Harbor and the planet itself are being assaulted by the capitalist system from all directions, all to make a bigger profit.
Benton Harbor residents proposed that the city enact by a referendum a 1% income tax aimed at Whirlpool Corporation. Less than one half of one percent of Whirlpool Corporation employees live in Benton Harbor and none of the other corporations hire Benton Harbor residents to help the community and help solve the city's financial crisis. Under current agreements, Whirlpool will pay no tax to the city until 2024.
Whirlpool Corp. and Benton Harbor puppet mayor James Hightower worked to defeat the measure through a massive misinformation campaign, full of lies by Whirlpool Corp. and the puppet mayor. The capitalists and Whirlpool Corp. promote class, racial, religious, ethnic, gender, and educational divides to keep us fighting amongst ourselves, the purpose of which is to make us blind to our overwhelming common needs and interests. This is how they preserve their power and control over the profit that working people create with our labor.
The Benton Harbor officials are considering asking the Benton Harbor resident voteres to approve the city income tax proposal again. The Benton Harbor voters may be asked to consider a city income tax in the near future. The idea was brought up during the city legislative committee meeting.
The city of Benton Harbor must do something because Whirlpool Corp. refuses to pay taxes and their water bills. The city must do something to generate an income to fix the city and what is falling apart.
The income tax is an opportunity to generate funds and to build up the community. The potholes are getting worse, trees are dying off, we have so many abandoned buildings. The income tax should be used for capital improvement, infrastructure, and city maintenance.
The residents of Benton Harbor, the voters, rejected a city income tax because they lack knowledge and because of a massive misinformation campaign by Whirlpool and the puppet mayor. It was rejected by a 667 to 543 vote on Nov. 5, 2013. If the income tax proposal had passed in 2013, businesses and city residents would have paid a 1% income tax. The non-residents who work in the city would have a 0.5% tax on the portion of their income they earn in the city. The tax was estimated to raise $2.5 million dollars for the community every year.
We are in a life and death struggle in the city of Benton Harbor. We must pass the city income tax proposal for the community as soon as possible.
-Rev. Edward Pinkney