by: Diane Benjamin
Below is an email sent from Unit 5 trying to get YES votes on the 1% Sales Tax. They appear to be really worried, because now they are making promises they CAN NOT KEEP. Actions by the current school board are NOT binding on future school boards. This board can say they will reduce property taxes, but next year’s newly elected members don’t have to agree! Don’t fall for it. They put this tax increase on a Primary Ballot because turnout is low for primaries. Prove them wrong and vote NO Tuesday!
Next week the voters of Mclean County will be asked to approve a 1 cent sales tax to help fund schools throughout McLean County, including those in Unit 5. The 1 cent increase in the county sales tax will generate approximately $9 million for Unit 5 on an annual basis.
The question on the ballot will appear as follows:
“Shall a retailer’s occupation tax and service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a “Sales Tax”) be imposed in The County of McLean, Illinois, at a rate of 1% to be used exclusively for school facility purposes?”
Understanding that community members are not looking for additional taxes, the Unit 5 Board of Education voted to reduce property taxes with the passage of the County Sales Tax. The board will return the first $3 million of revenue from a county to property owners. These dollars will be returned annually for at least five years and will result in lower tax rates for property owners.
For example, the owner of a $200,000 home would save about $90 annually or approximately $450 over the five-year period. The owner of a $300,000 home would see an approximate $140 annual savings or about $700 savings over that same period.
This reduction in property taxes is contingent on the County Sales Tax Referendum passing on March 18.
It has been estimated that 37 percent of the revenue from the sales tax will come from people who live outside the county whereas the property tax comes from individuals who live within our district boundaries.
“The Unit 5 Board of Education recognizes the desire of the general public to reduce property taxes,” said President John Puzauskas. “The community survey was clear that taxpayers want property tax relief and they want a shift to other revenue sources for schools, rather than a reliance on property taxes.”
As with any proposed increase in taxes, decisions to support or oppose the proposal should be based on facts. Here are some facts to help you make your decision.
The increased sales tax does not apply to:
- Cars, trucks, ATV’s, boats, and RVs or mobile homes
- Medicine including prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs
- Farm equipment, parts and farm inputs
The sales tax revenues can be used for:
- Safety and security improvements
- Renovating schools
- Energy efficiency
- Paying off building bonds
- Land acquisition
- New construction
Finally, the sales tax revenues cannot be used for operating costs such as:
- Salaries and benefits
- Instructional costs
- Textbooks and computers
- Moveable equipment
The proposed 1 cent sales tax increase will provide Unit 5 with funds to meet the required ongoing maintenance necessary to protect the investment taxpayers have made in our schools. Attached is a breakdown of district priorities, which includes security upgrades, energy efficiency installations, and infrastructure improvements of Unit 5 schools.
Click link to view a short video explaining the sales tax Introduction to the County Sales Tax – Video .
Unit 5 appreciates your continued support of our district as we work together to “educate each student to achieve personal excellence.”
District: MCLEAN COUNTY UNIT DISTRICT NO. 5
District Web Site: http://www.unit5.org/skyward
District Code: 0640050
3 thoughts on “Just how desperate is Unit 5?”
Once again, I am close to vomiting! The arrogance of the Unit 5 School Board is astounding! This statement alone shows how little the board understands public sentiment comcerning the 1% sales tax issue: “The Unit 5 Board of Education recognizes the desire of the general public to reduce property taxes,” said President John Puzauskas. “The community survey was clear that taxpayers want property tax relief and they want a shift to other revenue sources for schools, rather than a reliance on property taxes.”
If this passes (heaven forbid) I wonder if we would have legal recourse based on these false claims?
Sent from my iPhone