At Monday night’s Bond County Community Unit 2 board of education meeting, a representative from Stifel Nicholas, an investment banking firm, provided information about Illinois law which allows school districts to seek a facility tax.
Sean McCarthy was in attendance at the request of the board.
The law allows a facility sales tax, of up to one cent per dollar. The Unit 2 school board can put the proposal on the ballot, since the district has more than 650 percent of the students in the county, but the additional sales tax would have to be approved by voters.
Money collected would benefit any school in which a Bond County resident attends.
McCarthy said projections include an estimated $600,000 per year for Unit 2, and an estimated $125,000 for Mulberry Grove Unit 1. Some money would also go to the Carlyle, Highland and Hillsboro districts, since they have Bond County residents as students.
Unit 2 Superintendent Wes Olson said the board is in the informational stage. He told WGEL the board has looked at budgets and finances over the last several months and has put, “everything on the table as far as ways that we can improve our financial health.” He noted facility sales tax is a unique revenue source for school districts.
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The superintendent told WGEL the facility tax funds could be used for new facilities, additions, renovations, and safety and security.
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The additional sales tax would not apply to the purchases of cars, trucks, ATVs, boats, RV’s, mobile homes, unprepared food, drugs, including over-the-counter and vitamins, farm equipment and parts. Services are not taxed.
Olson said the school board will have future discussions about the revenue option and will continue to seek information.