District 709 School Board members want to know how revenue from a Tazewell County school facilities sales tax would be used in the district before they consider approval of placing the issue on the April 2013 ballot.
“We need specifics, right down to the school level, before we add to our residents’ tax burden,” board member Tim Taylor said Nov. 6. “How would we use the money? We need to have a plan,” said board President Tom Neeley.
Superintendent Lindsey Hall said she will report back to the board in December with possible uses for the funds.
The facilities sales tax law, based on a similar law in Iowa, went into effect in Illinois in 2007. Tazewell County voters rejected the tax in 2009.
School boards representing at least 50 percent of a county’s students must adopt resolutions in support of a ballot proposal to give voters a chance to vote on the tax. The District 709 board did not vote on a resolution for the 2009 vote.
A maximum 1 percent tax can be proposed. For a $10 purchase, the tax would be 10 cents. If Tazewell County voters approved a 1 percent tax, District 709 would earn an estimated $1.6 million annually for facilities work.
Not every purchase would be taxed. Exempt items include cars, trucks, boats, unprepared food, medications, and farm equipment and parts.
Tax revenue can be used for items like new facilities, additions, renovations, land acquisition, ongoing maintenance, fire prevention, health life safety work, disabled access, security and energy efficiency.
It cannot be used for items like instructional costs, buses, computers, salaries and overhead.