Union County considers 1% sales tax increase - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Union County considers 1% sales tax increase

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UNION COUNTY, Ill. -- Voters will decide in April if the seven school districts in Union County will benefit from a 1 percent sales tax increase. It's just a proposal for now, but counties across the state have passed the same tax, nine of them in our area.

When Union County voters step into the booth, they'll find a proposal to increase the county's base sales tax from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent. 

"We've been doing roof projects almost every summer and other repairs and that's going to continue when you've got a building that's this age," said Superintendent Rob Wright.

Wright explains that one percent will be put to good use. At the Anna-Jonesboro High School, he showed us cracked tiles, a roof in desperate need of repairs and the old gym floor that's 40 years old. He said any revenue from the tax would be used to upgrade schools, or make them more secure.  

"It can't be used for salaries. It can't be used for normal operating costs. It can't be used for books or buses or anything else," said Wright. 

County Clerk Lance Meisenhiemer says the tax will bring in a lot of money. He knows the benefits: a one percent sales tax helped fund the new courthouse.

"What the county brings in on their one percent tax is roughly around $70,000 a month, so the seven school districts in the county would see that split up between them each month," said Meisenhiemer. 

Wright says it's estimated his district would see around $200,000 a year, but just to fix a portion of the roof it'll cost nearly $200,000.

"I think it's easy to see when you're in Williamson County and Jackson County and Perry County and you see the facilities they have, the difference that that tax can make," said Wright. 

Wright says Superintendents from across the county and board members will be available for questions at a town hall meeting on March 19 at 6 p.m. in the Anna-Jonesboro High School Auditorium. 

News 3 was told by Wright, if the tax passes on April 2, the ball will start rolling and money could be coming into the schools as soon as this fall.

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