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 Thursday, Aug. 21, the 233rd day of 2014. There are 132 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Sheriff McLaughlin had the misfortune to dislocate his right shoulder some days ago when his carriage upset. He is now able to walk about but has a very sore shoulder.
1889 -- 125 years ago: A kindergarten was started in the downtown district of Rock Island with the Misses Dodie Hawes and Grace Knowlton as teachers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Pope Pius X died in Rome.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's new theater was named Esquire.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The J.I. Case Co. plant in Bettendorf will add from 150 to 200 employees by Jan. 1 a spokesman for the company said today. The Bettendorf Works today had a payroll of 1,350, but an increased production schedule will require additional people.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illowa Council Boy Scouts of America reached and passed its campaign goal in a drive that began 14 months ago by raising more than $2.2 million for the expansion of Loud Thunder Reservation near Andalusia.

(More History)