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 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.

(More History)