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 Friday, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.

(More History)