Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013, 7:21 pm

Local option sales tax for schools to appear on March ballot

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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com

MOLINE — A request from Rock Island County school districts for a local option sales tax will appear on the March ballot.

Should voters approve the 1 percent tax, it would take effect July 1, 2014. Schools could start seeing revenue from it by October of that year. Schools would receive a percentage of the sales tax revenue based on enrollment. The money only could be used for facilities maintenance and could not be spent on salaries, textbooks or other supplies.

The school boards of the various districts have been voting on the measure in recent weeks, and school districts representing 51 percent of Rock Island County students had to vote in support of the measure for it to appear on the ballot.

With the East Moline district board's supporting vote this week, there are enough districts approving of the idea for the Regional Office of Education to submit the necessary documents to the county clerk, Rock Island Regional Superintendent Tammy Muerhoff said on Wednesday.

Ms. Muerhoff said she will submit the request to the county when the paperwork from the East Moline school district arrives.

The ROE already has the needed paperwork from the Hampton, Silvis, Moline, Rock Ridge, Sherrard and Carbon Cliff-Barstow districts, she said.

East Moline superintendent Kristin Humphries said his district could expect $1.3 million in revenue, based on the tax average from the previous three years.

The Silvis district could expect about $310,000 per year, superintendent Ray Bergles said earlier this month.

Henry and Mercer counties already have a similar tax.