I have a proposal to help the state's financial crisis. I sent it to Gov. Rauner, local state representatives, county board, and Peoria City Council. I have received two responses.

As a retailer, we collect sales taxes, payable to the state each month. The state's share is 6.25 percent. Any taxes above that are distributed to the local bodies who have levied them.

If retailers file our taxes on time, we are allowed to keep 1.75 percent of the money collected. That's right, not all of the tax consumers pay ever reaches the state. It is called the retailers' discount. I have never thought this practice was right, but one state representative told me the Chamber of Commerce is in favor of it so he couldn't possibly oppose it. Obviously, it is business friendly. However, it is not friendly enough to keep businesses from closing their doors. Why? Local businesses have to compete with online retailers. They, if they collect tax, only have to collect the 6.25 percent state rate — local levies are not collected.

Meanwhile, citizens are moving out of state. University students are going to other states with more favorable scholarship plans. A backlog of bills remains, and deficits in pension funds have not been addressed. More local sales tax increases were on the ballots this November, which hurt citizens and local retailers alike.

Let's make a start. Let's call for remitting all of the sales tax collected before we start raising any more rates.

Floride B. Kidder