To the Editor:
On March 20, educational lobbyists want voters to increase the Madison County Sales Tax by 1 percent and add 23 million dollars in annual taxes. Some backers have said it will reduce your property tax.
The 1 percent sales tax is really a bonding issue. Its passage allows Madison County School Boards to let $300 million dollars of bonds to build schools. Letting bonds at a 1.25 coverage ratio for 25 years would cost up to a half a billion dollars over the life of the bonds. The 1 percent sales tax produces; (a) more debt, and, (b) can never be revoked.
FACT: Some backers stated the 1 percent sales tax will lower your property tax. This is untrue. Why?
Whammy # 1: If you pass the 1 percent sales tax your school board may still raise your property tax! This is true even if they promise not to. 71 percent of my property tax goes to schools.
Has your school board ever reduced your property tax?
Whammy # 2: Illinois law defines the 1 percent sales tax as a “double barreled bond.” If sales taxes prove insufficient to pay for millions in bond costs your government is legally required to levy higher property taxes to cover bond costs.
It’s a double whammy - new sales taxes and high property taxes!
The educational establishment knows voters have had enough of high taxes. If you have had enough - vote NO on March 20.
Philip W. Chapman, Madison County Board member