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Davenport Residents to Vote on Penny Sales Tax Use Extension

Who would you rather have control over school funds: The state or the school district? That's what Davenport residents will decide when they vote Tuesday on the Davenport Community School District's Revenue Purpose Statement, which determines how money from the state-wide penny sales tax is spent.

District Chief Financial Officer, Marsha Tangen, says voters in Davenport originally passed the tax in 2008, but it's set to expire in 2019. The state legislature that year also passed a statewide penny sales tax that will expire in 2029. The vote Tuesday would extend the local expiration date to 2029.

"I think the biggest thing for people to know is that this is not a new tax," said Tangen. "And it's a sales tax that we're getting into the district. But what they're voting on is just the use of that sale tax."

The tax brings in about 13 million dollars a year to the district for school infrastructure projects, including new intruder locks on classrooms, and a new auditorium and pool at Central High School.

Tangen says if the tax isn't extended this year, it'll be placed on every ballot until 2019. If voters decide not to extend the tax, she says the school could lose nearly six million dollars in revenue each year.

"We've got a lot of projects on our long-range plan," said Tangen. "We developed that project list through the public, through the board, through administrators, through people at the school. And our project list is longer than our revenues are coming in. And they're all projects that people have identified and that are important to them. And so obviously if we don't have that money, it's that much less that's going to get done, or projects that are going to get scaled back."

The Proposition "D" on Tuesday's school board elections ballot will ask voters to extend the Revenue Purpose Statement from 2019 to 2029.