Decossas responds to Pantagraph-1% Tax

Maria – your article in today’s (March 8, 2014) Pantagraph regarding Unit 5 Sales Tax Referendum seems to contradict prior Pantagraph reporting. Just wanted to point out these to you.


From today’s article…
Only 10 days before the sales tax referendum vote, Unit 5 is now ‘pledging’ to return the first $3 million dollars (I am assuming they mean the first $3 million annually – and not just return over a five year period the first $3 million earned) to reduce property taxes. John Pazauskas even states that Unit 5s plans DO NOT include constructing any new school buildings in the next 5 years. He does add, however, that space could be added to existing schools for new gyms and cafeterias.

What I find interesting is….

1. (March 8, 2013 Pantagraph) – “In Unit 5, the money would be used initially for new facilities and later could be used to pay down debt and eventually reduce property taxes”

2. (January 14, 2014 Pantagraph) – “Unit 5 Superintendent Gary Neihaus said the proposed sales tax increase could lead to a lowered property tax in the future

Now, only 10 days before the election, Unit 5 acts as if lowering property taxes was their primary concern all along.

Also interesting concerning Unit 5s statement that it will not build new facilities in the next 5 years…..

1. (March 8, 2013 Pantagraph) – “Enrollment growth of more than 3000 students in the last decade means McLean County Unit 5 school district will have to seek a tax increase to build new schools

2. (March 8, 2013 Pantagraph) – ” has added about 300 students annually with lopsided growth on its east side in recent years. A new east-side elementary school would be the first priority, likely along Towanda Barnes Road. It could cost about $25 million to $26 million with a goal of opening in 2015, Niehaus said.” (Another Unit 5 goal/plan?)

3. (March 8, 2013 Pantagraph) – “The public would have to decide if they want to build a third high school costing about $75 million to $80 million or build additions to the two current schools, <Neihaus> said”

If the purpose of this tax was to find room for an annual growth of 300 students, but now (10 days before the vote)  they are pledging not to build new schools for 5 years, then where will they be putting those 1500 new students that they claim will be enrolled over the next 5 years?

Eric Decossas





5 thoughts on “Decossas responds to Pantagraph-1% Tax

  1. Didn’t State Farm already warn the school districts the loss of several jobs lead to the loss of several hundred kids in both districts a few months ago?

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