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Sep 5, 2018

Sales Tax for schools and all about public schools in IL.

22 comments

Edited: Feb 9

Sep 5, 2018Edited: Oct 22

 

 

 

Williamsville Community Unit School District #15 has changed and grown a great deal since the days of one-room schoolhouses. The total enrollment for the 2011 school year was 1,413. 637 students k5 – 5th, 336 students 6th – 8th and 440 students 9th – 12th WCUSD #15 data. The total enrollment for the 2019 school year is 1479, a growth of 66 additional students in eight years.

 

Currently, schools fund major construction and infrastructure projects by going to the voters and asking them to pass a building referendum for a specific amount needed to do the project. If approved by the voters, that amount is bonded out over a course of years (usually 20) and the property owners shoulder the full burden with a property tax increase to pay for those building bonds for the next 20 years.

 

The problem with this type of funding is by the time the building bonds are paid off, the District usually needs to do another building project as they grow and buildings age, it is a necessary fact. As a result, Districts have to go back to the property owners to ask for another property tax increase and the cycle begins all over again.

 

The question is: would you like schools to continue to fund building needs in this manner, or would you like to see school building and infrastructure needs shifted to another revenue source, such as a 1% countywide sales tax?

 

Between 1980 and 2010, five education referendums were proposed to the WCUSD #15 voters.  Three of the five Education Fund rate referendums failed (1980, 1983 & 1993). 

 

In November 1980, three other referendum questions passed; Operations and Building fund rate increase, Transportation Fund rate increase, and the ability to transfer an amount not to exceed $50,000 to the Operations, Building and Maintenance Fund for special education building purposes.

 

In November 1994, the WCUSD #15 voters approved a $5,700,000 building referendum by a vote of 1,798 to 739, and six years five months later in April 2001, the voters once again approved a building referendum of $7,800,000 by a vote of 1,049 to 882 for the construction of a new Jr. High replacing the 1920's building, and additional classrooms to Sherman Elementary School. 

 

Had it not been for the support of the property owners in the Williamsville Community Unit School District 15, the above would not have been possible and WCUSD #15 would not be where it is today!! 

 

For the first time, on November 2, 2010 Sangamon County voters were asked to consider a new way to fund future school infrastructure needs. Voters were asked to consider a 1% countywide sales tax rather than continue to rely on additional property taxes for the future funding of school infrastructure needs. The 1% countywide sales tax provides an opportunity to fund school facilities in a more equitable manner utilizing additional revenue generated from those that live outside of Sangamon County, providing property owners in the District property tax relief.

 

The revenue generated from the 1% countywide sales tax in 2011 would have been restricted funds and could have only been used for school infrastructure or the funding of it.

 

In 2010, WCUSD #15 was projected to receive between $930,000 to $950,000 in annual sale tax revenue. That money would have made a large portion of the annual bond payments, which are over $1 million dollars annually. This would have resulted in less being levied on property to make up the difference of the bond payments. However, the measure failed in the county and in the WCUSD #15 area. Therefore, the full amount of the bond payments have continued to be levied on property for the remaining years or until the bonds are paid in full, or until the countywide sales tax measure passes by 51% of the voters.

 

On November 6, 2018, the voters of Sangamon County were asked to approve a proposal to provide funding to all county school districts through a 1-cent retail sales tax increase. It passed 44,195 53.47% to 38,457 46.53%.

 

The revenue from this Sangamon County School Facility Sales Tax will be generated from Sangamon County residents and more importantly from the people who visit and travel through Sangamon County.

 

The revenue can only be used to maintain and improve school facilities or to make payments on existing bond debt. The sales tax increase will take effect July 1, 2019, with schools to receive their first round of funding in October 2019.

 

The Sangamon County School Facility Sales Tax is a shift from exclusively relying on local property taxes to fund school facilities.

http://www.wcusd15.org/index.php/item/1734-sangamon-county-school-facility-sales-tax-information

 

Watch a video regarding the purpose of the tax and how it can help schools in your County by reducing the over reliance on local property taxes for facility needs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLN9yacb4dE&feature=youtu.be

 

 

 

 

How many other Illinois Counties so far have chosen to fund school facility needs with a County-wide 1% Sales Tax? 51 See the map below. On November 6, 2018, the CSFST passed in Sangamon, Menard and Jasper Counties. In Sangamon County the vote was 44,195 Yes and 38,457 No.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sep 5, 2018Edited: Oct 22

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sherman Village Board Meeting

WCUSD#15 Superintendent Tip Reedy - Sangamon County School Facility Sales Tax Information

 

 

 

Sep 15, 2018Edited: Jan 4

Every year Sangamon County puts out the below pie chart along with an article in the paper pointing out that the County is not the highest taxing body. This year the Sherman Mayor has used the same information for the same purpose.

 

The Sherman Village Corporate tax rate did increase between 2016 and 2017, due to the $1.5 million bonded against property taxes until 2032 for village road construction that took place in 2017. The Sherman Village Corporate tax rate went from 0.0643% in 2016 to 0.1971% in 2017 and dropped to 0.1910% in 2018 as the overall Assessed Value of all properties in the village increased.

 

The below pie chart does nothing but make the school districts look like the bad guys since the majority of IL property taxes go to fund IL Schools. However, it is important to note that it was not IL Schools that decided property taxes would share the largest burden in funding IL Schools. That was the decision of those at the State Capital!

 

Sangamon County Schools are trying to change this with the 1% sale tax that would be used for infrastructure cost in the future rather than property taxes.

 

When you travel through one or more of the other 51 IL Counties that has already passed the County-wide 1% sales tax for schools, be sure to check out their schools and ask their taxpayers if it's been a good thing for their schools.

 

 

For more information about IL Property Taxes visit:

https://www.shermanforum.com/main-forum-page/city-spending-taxes/high-taxes

This is exactly the kind of talk that caused some to vote AGAINST the 1% sales tax for schools. Double dipping!!! When a bonded debt is paid off from a previous referendum on property taxes, the taxpayers deserve that break on their property taxes, NOT another referendum to replace it!!! That was the whole purpose of the 1% sales tax!!! The 1% sales tax was to be an alternative way of funding school facility needs other than property taxes, NOT AN ADDITIONAL way to fund school facility needs!!!

 

Alternative revenue bonds can be done without voter approval, and the future 1% sales tax revenue can be pledged to make the payments. The taxpayers would be on the hook ONLY if the 1% sales tax revenue was not enough to make the bond payments.

 

It should be clear that fixing leaking roofs should be the number one priority of this school district. That should be the only thing this school district should be borrowing money for until the 1% sales tax revenue starts flowing into the district!!! Only fix those that are currently leaking and get everything else on a 5-year scheduled plan by prioritizing the needs!!! Work within your revenue flow!!!

 

Feb 24Edited: Feb 24

Understanding the Williamsville Community Unit School District #15 Ballot on April 2, 2019

WCUSD #15 elects their School Board members by Township Range. The law only allows for a maximum of 3 members to serve on the WCUSD #15 School Board from any given Township Range.

 

The two largest Townships in the WCUSD #15 District are Fancy Creek and Williams Township. Therefore, the WCUSD #15 School Board usually ends up with 3 members from Fancy Creek and 3 members from Williamsville Township and 1 member serving from one of the other 6 Townships (that are not very populated). In fact, it is typically very difficult to find someone to serve on the WCUSD #15 School Board from one of the other 6 Townships due to the low number of residents within those 6 Townships.

 

Currently, Matt Seman (2019), Pam Kovacevich (2019), and Tom Ray (2021) serve on the School Board from Fancy Creek Township.

Currently, Corey Conklin (2019), Kurt Ratliff (2021) and Charlie Waugh (2021) serve on the School board from Williams Township.

Currently, Teresa Benner (2021) serves on the School Board from Township Range 18N Range 4W.

http://www.wcusd15.org/index.php/board/board-member-profiles

School Board members are also on staggered terms like Village Board members.

 

On April 2, 2019, Matt Seman and Pam Kovacevich are up for re-election for Fancy Creek Township and Corey Conklin is up for re-election for Williams Township.

 

Pam Kovacevich decided NOT to run for re-election. Therefore, Lorrie Bandy filed to run for that seat.

Corey Conklin is running for re-election and he is being challenged by new comer Ben McDaniel.

Believe it or not the current State Law requires the Board of Elections to include the instructions for every Township even if NO ONE from those Townships are running for election. It would take an act of Legislation to remove these useless instructions.

 

If you only read the instructions for Township Ranges 17N 5W and 17N 4W, you will see that both Lorri Bandy and Matt Seman can be seated from 17N 5W; however, only Corey Conklin OR Benjamin McDaniel can be elected from 17N 4W. This is based on current law and the number of remaining Board members from Townships Fancy Creek, Williams and 18N 4W.

Notice the wording state "Not more than....... may be elected from........" It is perfectly OK to UNDER VOTE, but you should not OVER VOTE. If the wording says "Not more than 2 may be elected from......" and you only want to vote for 1 or neither, it's perfectly OK to do so.

Mar 24Edited: Aug 29

If the Williamsville School Board were to borrow the full $13,500,000 within the first three (3) years of the ordnance the County-wide Sales Tax should be able to meet the bond payment obligation over 20 years, $13,500,000/20 is $675,000 a year. The County-wide Sales Tax is estimated to bring in nearly $1 million dollars annually for WCUSD #15.

 

However, if Superintendent Reedy and the School Board think the taxpayers will also pass a referendum on property taxes in a year or two to allow them to continue collecting additional property taxes for a nest egg they better think again!!

 

In the Sun-Times January 24, 2019 article above, Superintendent Reedy spoke about another bond issuance expiring in March of 2020 and the possibility of a tax referendum on the ballot allowing the tax rate to remain even if the bonds are paid off all in an effort to build a savings account.

LETS JUST SAY THAT'S NOT GOING TO FLY WITH THE VOTERS!!! The voters are smart enough to know that "(not increase taxes)" just means keeping the taxes what they are. That is a Trevor J. Clatfelter term and the voters are smart enough to know what the true meaning of that is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 7Edited: Oct 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The WCUSD #15 tax rate has not been below $4 as far back as 1993 or longer. Isn't it time the property owners get a break on their property taxes? Isn't that why most people voted in favor of the County-wide Sales Tax?

1993 4.5771

1994 4.2430

1995 4.4301

1996 4.6440

1997 4.5779

1998 4.4702

1999 4.3894

2000 4.4280

 

There will be another local election in two years when Tom Ray (Fancy Creek Township), Kurt Ratliff (Williams Township), Charlie Waugh (Williams Township) and Theresa Benner (Hurlbut Logan County) will be up for re-election. http://www.wcusd15.org/index.php/board/board-member-profiles

Aug 29Edited: Oct 2

 

Will the taxpayers fall for this deception? The taxpayers need to remind Superintendent Reedy and the School Board that the taxpayers passed the 1% County-wide Sales Tax to help with building needs so the taxpayers didn't have to continue to pay for building referendum with property taxes?

We all know property taxes NEVER decrease over the years, they just keep going up with the help of annual township multipliers, property assessment increases and tax rate increases.

 

Superintendent Reedy and the School Board apparently want to DOUBLE DIP!!! They want to keep your property tax rate for the School District the same and not let the previous referendum rate drop off. They want to continue to receive that money EVEN after the bonded debt is paid off in addition to the 1% County-wide Sales Tax money that is roughly $1,000,000 million a year.

 

 

 

 

The total tax rates below in Fancy Creek and Williams Township include the WCUSD#15 Tax Rate of 4.5709.

 

If the tax rate for WCUSD#15 dropped $1 to 3.5709 and a home is assessed at $100,000 with a $6,000 homeowner exemption, the taxpayer would see a decrease of over $270.00 on their your property tax bill.

 

On a home assessed at $200,000 with a $6,000 homeowner exemption, the taxpayer would see a decrease of over 606.00 on their property tax bill.

 

On a home assessed at $300,000 with a $6,000 homeowner exemption, the taxpayer would see a decrease of over $940.00 on their property tax bill.

 

For more information regarding property taxes visit https://www.shermanforum.com/main-forum-page/city-spending-taxes/high-taxes

 

SEE THE DIFFERENCE BELOW

 

 

 

 

GO TO THE OPEN HOUSE/INFORMATION MEETING WITH ALL THE FACTS!!!

KNOW WHAT IT'S GOING TO COST YOU FOREVER ON YOUR PROPERTY TAXES. SEE HOW MUCH ABOVE SHOULD COME OFF YOUR PROPERTY TAXES IF THE RATE IS ALLOWED TO DROP LIKE IT SHOULD WHEN THE 20 YEAR BONDED DEBT IS PAID OFF.

The County-wide Sales Tax for Schools is all about giving the property owners a break on the property taxes. However, Superintend Reedy and the WCUSD #15 School Board wants both the higher property tax rate and the County-wide sales tax revenue.

 

JUST SAY NO to keeping the property tax rate HIGH!!!

 

 

Oct 7Edited: Oct 7

Isn't it nice that the Superintendent and the WCUSD#15 School Board thinks you choosing to pay higher property taxes forever to the District is an "Opportunity"! The $1 they want you to vote yes for after the current bonded debt is paid off, will continue to bring in about $2 MILLION dollars a year to the District from your "Opportunity" by keeping the higher tax rate! This would be in ADDITION to the $1 MILLION dollars a year from the County-wide Sales Tax Revenue they have begun to receive!

 

 

Oct 21

No one likes to pay taxes, but schools require repairs, expansions, updates, etc. Our community is growing, and part of the reason is that we have quality schools. Those schools come at a price. You're table comparing tax rates among Sangamon Co. school districts clearly shows our tax rate is in the bottom half, so I'd argue we are getting a great deal. You've provided much information here and argued that this is some attempt to squeeze more taxes out of residents, but one item missing from all these posts is an alternative solution. What should our school district do to continue serving our growing population. Complaints without solutions are not useful.

Oct 21Edited: Oct 21

The solution is to use the County-wide 1% Sales Tax for building upkeep and expansion. The voters approved it in November 2018. That's what it is for and many other school districts in other counties are doing just that. https://youtu.be/vSmPzxC2SoA

 

 

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