A proposed one percent facility sales tax by Tazewell County school superintendents could potentially generate over $13 million annually in revenue for Tazewell County, according to the Midwest Central School District 191 superintendent.

Superintendent Todd Hellrigel gave a presentation on behalf of the county’s school superintendents during the Tazewell County Board meeting Wednesday. The measure will be on the ballot for the November elections.

“I’m not here to tell you how to vote one way or the other,” Hellrigel told the board. “I’m here to put out information so when you go to the polls in November, you can make an informed decision”

The revenue generated from the tax will be used exclusively for the improvement of Tazewell County school facilities, Hellrigel added. Public Act 97-0542, the Illinois County School Facility Tax, has already passed in 51 Illinois counties.

“As school districts, we all compete for children,” he said. “When parents are school shopping, one of the first things they see is what our facilities look like. The money would help us improve those facilities.”

In addition to allowing Tazewell County school districts to attract students through facility improvements, Hellrigel believes that the sales tax will be a new revenue stream for school districts that will provide an opportunity to lower county property taxes. 

“In my district, we were able to reduce our tax rate by 40 cents, although that wasn’t solely because of this sales tax.” he said.

The County Board unanimously approved annual grant payments to Creve Coeur, East Peoria, Morton, Pekin and Washington for curbside recycling. Also meeting unanimous approval were a $7,000 transfer request for community development, a replacement hire in the Tazewell County Clerk’s office, and an amended employment agreement of the county administrator.