Originally Posted Online: March 21, 2013, 8:09 pm
Last Updated: March 21, 2013, 11:39 pm

Annawan superintendent urges attendance at sales tax meeting

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By Claudia Loucks, cjloucks@qconline.com

ANNAWAN – Superintendent Joe Buresh encouraged the school board, and other voters, to attend Tuesday's informational meeting on the proposed Henry County Schools Facility Sales Tax.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the school's media center.

Voters are being asked to approve a one-cent sales tax increase on April 9, which Mr. Buresh said would generate about$114,000 for the district, "based on our current enrollment.

"There also is a possibility that if the sales tax increase is approved, the additional money would take the place of increasing property tax rates in the operation and maintenance fund," he said.

"From statistical data I have received, about 50 percent of the revenue generated from the additional sales tax is projected to come from residents living outside of Henry County," he said.

Income from the sales tax increase only can be used for maintenance and physical facilities. Items not subject to the tax include cars, boats, farm equipment, farm inputs and groceries.

Mr. Buresh said the district could put that extra money to work immediately. He said that based on Governor Quinn's current budget proposal, the district will lose about $250,000 more in state funding this year.

"At this rate, we will be out of money in three years," he said. "That is really sad as we were in a great financial situation four years ago, but the loss of so much funding year after year will soon drain all of our reserves."

Mr. Buresh said so many staff cuts have been made in recent years that "cutting staff any further would have a negative impact on the educational programs offered and the quality of learning."

He said one retiring teacher will not be replaced.

In other business, the board:

- Changed the April meeting to 4 p.m. on April 24, from 6 p.m. on April 17, to meet canvassing requirements and seat new board members.

- Learned high school graduation is at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 19, and eighth grade promotion is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22.