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February 19, 2011 School Sales Tax on Ballot in Logan County By Mike-Lakin Local voting this April 5 will include the question of a School Sales Tax. The sales tax question made it the ballot when school districts in Logan County passed resolutions to place the question on the ballot. The Logan County Board then certified the question to place the question on the April Election Ballot. When voters go to the booth April 5, they will vote yes or no on the following - "Shall the County of Logan County, Illinois, be authorized to impose a retailer's occupation tax and a service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a "sales tax") at a rate of 1% to be used exclusively for school facility purposes?" The sales tax question can only pass if a majority of the voters vote yes. If the voters approve - and the County Board approves- the tax goes into effect in January 2012. A unique part of this is, the County Board can vote not to collect the tax. But if the County Board votes to collect the tax the County Board can determine how much sales tax is collected for schools. The amount can be IA or 1/2 or 3/4 of 1% or the full 1%. If the tax is approved by the voters and confirmed by the Logan County Board it can mean a good amount of money for the Mt. Pulaski School District. Based on a Logan County average, the district could receive (at 1%) $222,435 per year. All School Sales Tax funds received by the school district must be deposited to a special - designated fund. The funds can only be used for capital (building related) improvements. Districts can use funds for life/safety, building improve- ments, issue bonds for building improvements, or - even - abate taxes on bonds issued for building improvements. School Sales tax funds are governed under Section 17-2.11 of the Illinois School Code. A school district cannot spend School Sales tax funds for buses, trucks, mowers, etc. The district cannot spend these funds on computers or moveable equipment. Funds cannot be used for salaries, benefits, utilities, supplies or any opera- tional costs. As for the School Sales Tax, it does not tax anything you purchase that is not currently taxed. Exempt from the tax are licensed and titled vehicles, boats and RVs, unprepared food for home consumption, drugs-vitamins-over the counter medications, farm equipment, fertilizer, seed, etc. In a discussion with District Superintendent Phil Shel- ton, Mr. Shelton made the following points - The School Sales Tax can help a school district stabilize school district taxes. The school district realizes that this tax is being sought at a time when the climate for tax increases is not favorable. These sales tax funds can free up other district finances for other educational purposes. The School Sales Tax, in reality, would be col- lected in an area well beyond the boundary of this school district. While the tax is collected from sales in this area, it also collected on sales throughout the county. To wrap this up, theseare all the facts. It is totally up to you the voter whether you want to increase sales taxes in Logan County by 1%. Never hold a dustbuster and a cat at the sai'he tme. COWBOY WISDOM Mt. Pulaski Times 11 Napoleon took 14,000 French decrees and simplified them into a unified set of 7 laws. This was the first time in modem history that a nation's laws applied equally to all citizens. Napoleon's 7 laws are so impressive that by 1960 more than 70 governments had patterned their own laws after them or used them verbatim. Do You Know Who You Can Trust? It's a hard choice in today's financial marketplace. With so many banks and other financial companies trying to get your business, it's hard to know who really has your best interest at heart. What's the solution? Placing your trust in A Real Community Bank solves that problem. Because only banks qualified to display this banking seal of approval are dedicated to hometown values and hometown commitment. As A Real Community Bank, we're committed to the community where we live and work. Committed to making all our decisions locally and remaining focused on the needs of our customers and community. Come visit and tell us how we can serve you. THE FARMERS rm BANK 130 S, Washington St. - Mt Pulaski 792-5211 www.farm-bank.com