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 Sunday, July 27, the 208th day of 2014. There are 157 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The Rock Island Paper Mill is now operating. It is an establishment which our people ought to encourage by saving all rags for the mill, where you can get cash and the highest prices for them.
1889 -- 125 years ago: E. W. Robinson purchased from J.T. Miller the livery stable on the triangle south of Market Square.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Henry Kramer was elected president of the Tri-City Typothetae Franklin Club, which took the place of the Tri-City Ben Franklin Club.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Floyd Furh, Illinois City, was first-place winner in the second annual Gov. Horner Farm floral contest.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Nearly 4,000 people are expected to attend weekend sessions of the Jehovah's Witnesses Assembly being held at the Masonic Temple.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The B-29 Super-Fortress bomber is impressive looking, and it did the job during World War II. Its claim to fame is dropping the atomic bombs in Japan to end the war. Only one B-29 is operational in the world today. It is on display at the Quad City Airport in Moline until Friday.

(More History)