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New sales tax helpful to all county schools

Published: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

Thank you for your coverage discussing the countywide impact of a proposed sales tax hike in Lee County. I think one or two key points were obscured or understated.

You mention the tax would benefit all county school districts, for example, right after stating “the money would go toward a sports and activities center.” The Dixon Public School District has announced its share of the revenue would be used for that purpose.

For many of us in Dixon, that’s enough reason to support the increase, but it understates the impact on other county districts.

According to the presentation, Amboy’s schools would receive more than $400,000 a year, AFC’s schools around $300,000, Paw Paw’s more than $100,000, Steward’s more than $30,000, and Nelson’s more than $10,000, based on student enrollment, not where the sales taxes are collected.

Not only are 30 percent or more of those monies projected to come from people who live outside the county, those school districts in communities with a smaller retail base should be even more intrigued since they’ll be receiving credit for tax revenues raised in other, more retail-dense portions of the county.

It’s also important to note the wide base of support for the initiative. Prominent local leaders from both parties support the project, not to mention other less-political folks who have taken an interest, whether they support or oppose the initiative, because they’re engaging that the issue is significant.

There’s a really active discussion growing about Dixon’s future, and that’s a good thing for all of us. It’s time.

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