Letter: Consider TIFs, vote no schools sales tax

Posted Online: March 09, 2014, 12:00 am
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I am voting NO on the school sales tax referendum on March 18 because tax increment financing (TIF) districts are the root of the problem, and subsequently the schools are not receiving the property taxes they should. The schools should look to the developers and the city councils and village boards who approved the TIFs, unilaterally deciding for the schools and every other taxing body, that they do not need that revenue.

There are around 50 TIF districts in Rock Island County right now. If you check Rock Island County's website and look at the chart which illustrates where your property taxes go, you will see that $16,288,377.68 went to TIF districts in 2013. If that were going to the schools like it should, there would be no need to ask for sales tax.

The schools are the biggest user of property taxes, but when property tax favoritism is shown to developers, someone else must make up the difference. That someone else is the taxpayer. I have been one of the most vocal opponents to TIF districts, warning against the very thing that is happening now; unfortunately, the schools have not been as vocal.

Proponents state that $11.5 million can be generated, with one-third (if that is realistic) coming from non-Rock Island County residents. That still leaves $7.7 million for 147,457 of us to pay -- $51.99 per man, woman and child.

I am tired of making up the difference with more fees and taxes -- I am voting NO!

Sandy O'Neill,


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Sept, 30, the 273rd day of 2014. There are 92 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: The ARGUS Boys are very anxious to attend the great Democratic mass meeting tomorrow and we shall therefore, print no paper on the day.
1889 — 125 years ago: H.J. Lowery resigned from his position as manager at the Harper House.
1914 — 100 years ago: Curtis & Simonson was the name of a new legal partnership formed by two younger members of the Rock Island County Bar. Hugh Cyrtis and Devore Simonson..
1939 — 75 years ago: Harry Grell, deputy county clerk was named county recorder to fill the vacancy caused by a resignation.
1964 — 50 years ago: A new world wide reader insurance service program offering around the clock accident protection for Argus subscribers and their families is announced today.
1989 — 25 years ago: Tomato plant and other sensitive greenery may have had a hard time surviving overnight as temperatures neared the freezing point.

(More History)