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Education

Sales Tax for RI County Schools is Approved

ut_chem_lab_after.jpg
UT High School
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"Blessed," "elated," "thankful," and "excited" - that's how one superintendent feels after Rock Island County voters on Tuesday approved a sales tax increase for school facilities. It was the 4th time the proposed one per cent increase was on the ballot, and it passed 53 to 47 per cent, or by 44-hundred votes.

United Township Superintendent, Jay Morrow, says supporters decided this time to hold a very low-key campaign, compared to the more organized and visible campaigns of the past.

"This time knowing that the presidential election and the statewide races in Illinois would suck up a great deal of attention, we felt perhaps this was the best route to go since the first three times we tried it, it wasn't successful."

 

ut_chem_lab_before.jpg
Credit UT High School
Chemistry lab at UT High School before it was remodelled.

U-T receives 40 to 50,000 dollars per year from a school sales tax in Henry County, and recently used the money to re-model a chemistry lab.

"We put some before and after photos on our website showing what we did with the Henry County sales tax money. And hopefully that was a compelling argument for the United Township constituency - "hey, we are using this money and it's improving our facilities.'"

The one per cent sales tax will raise an estimated 11 million dollars per year, and be divided among the districts in Rock Island County based on enrollment. Doctor Morrow says his district's share will be about 800,000 dollars.