Saturday, August 19, 2017

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School Facility Sales Tax

What would RIMSD do with the additional revenue?Read about the Facility Improvements >>KidGraphic

What is the Rock Island County School Facility Sales Tax about? The proposal asks voters to decide on a county-wide, one-cent sales tax that will be utilized only for school facilities. The sales tax is for one cent on every dollar spent on qualifying retail purchases.

The revenue generated from the sales tax can be used only for maintaining, renovating and upgrading existing school facilities, new construction and paying off building bonds that can help reduce property taxes. Each school district can decide how to use the revenues. Funds from the sales tax may not be used for salaries, bonuses or other operating expenses.

Now is the time for Rock Island County!
Schools in Iowa have been benefitting from similar revenues for the past 10 years, and 18 counties in Illinois have passed the sales tax measure. Surrounding counties of Mercer, Henry, Warren and Knox passed the School Facility Sales Tax. Fifteen to 30 years from now, we want to look back and say, “We did the right thing regarding our educational facilities.”¬†

We know that:

  1. Facilities impact learning
  2. Quality school facilities affect real estate values
  3. Older buildings have higher maintenance costs that increase over time

How can the sales tax revenue funds be used?

  • New facilities
  • Additions & renovations
  • Land acquisition
  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Access and security
  • Parking lots
  • Roof repairs
  • Energy efficiency

The funds cannot be used for:

  • Salaries and overhead
  • Textbooks
  • Buses
  • Operating costs
  • ¬†Furniture
  • Movable equipment

What types of items are taxed and not taxed?
The sales tax effects items such as clothing, fast food, electronic items and gas. Items that are not taxed include: unprepared food (groceries), prescriptions and over the counter medication, cars, trucks, boats, ATV’s, RV’s, mobile homes, farm equipment/parts and services.

A word about property taxes…
If the Schools Facility Sales Tax is passed in November, property taxes are positively affected in two ways. It reduces the reliance on property taxes to fund facilities in the future, and the school districts in Rock Island County have pledged to eliminate the Life Safety Tax Levy of 5 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Read about the facility improvements that can happen in RIMSD with the School Facility Sales Tax >>