We strongly endorse the March 18 primary proposition to support a 1-percent local sales tax option for the purpose of improving school facilities in Rock Island County. We urge our fellow citizens to join us in this support.|
Providing our children with a strong education has always been a core value of American society. Prior generation's investment in our education allowed us to grow and prosper as a community and as a nation. In this global, increasingly sophisticated and technical economy a good education is essential for individual success, good citizenship and national prosperity.
Competing both regionally and globally requires that our community invest in its educational facilities and provide the best possible education for our children.
Passage of the proposition on the March 18 ballot will strengthen our economy, make Rock Island County more attractive for families and new businesses and provide the facilities needed to give our children a quality education. Scott County has had a similar sales tax for many years. As a result, many consider it a better place to reside and locate businesses due to the perceived better quality of its schools and their facilities. This lowers real estate values in Rock Island County that are a major portion of most people's wealth.
Your "yes" vote on this proposition will:
-- Allow school districts to invest in much needed facilities upgrades including security enhancements, new technology labs, air conditioning and energy efficiency. Funds will be used solely for facilities improvements -- not salaries.
-- Provide a small level of property tax relief in the East Moline / United Township / Moline and Rock Island districts.
-- Bring $11.5 million annually into the local economy creating construction and trades jobs and have an overall economic effect of more than $85 million annually.
-- Make Rock Island County more competitive in recruiting new businesses and families.
More importantly, it will provide better facilities and learning opportunities for our children.
Studies have shown that early investment in our youth pays rewards many times the cost. It prepares our youngsters for good jobs. It provides a base of future taxpayers. It reduces poverty and crime with their increasingly high costs.
Now is the time to step up in support of Rock Island County students. They are our future. Join us in voting "yes" on March 18. Your thanks will come from many future generations of students who have benefited from your positive choice.
Hunt and Diane Harris of Moline are Quad-Cities philanthropists through organizations like the Hunt and Diane Harris Family Foundation and the John H. Harris III Memorial Foundation.