Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vote “No” to a school sales tax in November


The front page story of last week’s Journal reported that
District 100 and Boone County schools are talking about
putting a referendum on the ballot in November seeking
taxpayer approval of up to a one percent additional sales
tax. Taxpayers should be aware from the beginning that this
sales tax has no sunset clause, will never end, and can be
used for practically anything.
Think about the $23 million “backdoor referendum”
that District 100 tried to sneak by the taxpayers in 2007-08
to build additions to the middle schools. If this sales tax had
existed at that time, District 100 could have borrowed the
money with future sales taxes as a funding source and put
the taxpayers even deeper into debt with no opportunity for
the taxpayers to have a vote.
District 100 wants to use this new sales tax revenue
to pay for the increasing costs of its debt for the new high
school and other buildings. If voters pass this referendum,
the school board has authority to use the sales tax revenue
for any capital expenditure, including building even more
new schools and any additional buildings they wish (including
a new swimming pool) without having to go to referendum
for taxpayer approval.
District 100 is borrowing money to service its debt and
needs to do something, but this sales tax referendum, without
a change in the law to insure that the sale taxes are used
“only as taxpayers intend” and with very specific sunset provisions
to end the tax, is not a solution. It gives District 100
a “blank check” to do whatever they want to do and denies
the taxpayers the right to control and to decide by referendum
substantive issues of how their tax dollars should be
Without a change in the law, taxpayers should vote “NO”
if this referendum is on the ballot in November.

Bill Pysson

The above is taken from page 2 of this Friday’s Boone County Journal which is available free of cost at merchants across the county and on line at:

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