Rock Island Co. sales tax referendum on the November ballot for the fourth time


ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, Ill (KWQC)- For the fourth time, voters in Rock Island County will have the chance to vote yes or no on a 1% sales tax to benefit local schools.

The question reads: “Shall a retailer’s occupation tax and service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a “sales tax”) be imposed in the Rock Island County at a rate of 1% to be used exclusively for school facility purposes?”

Last spring, the referendum failed by 119 votes.

“We’ve always tried it during primary elections,” Said United Township Superintendent Jay Morrow. “This is a general election, we will see what the results are.”

“This money can only be used for facilities,” Morrow added, “It cannot be used for salaries, benefits, any employee benefits, it cannot be used for supplies.”

If passed, the money the county receives will be split into each school based on how many students are enrolled, which is what other counties in the area have passed.

“The entire State of Iowa has it,” said Morrow. “As well as, Henry County, Mercer, Knox and Warren. They all have it.”

If passed in Rock Island County, United Township will receive between 800 and 850 thousand dollars per year.

“We would use the facilities money for upgrading our classrooms, improving security and access points to the building,” Morrow added.

Rock Island-Milan Schools will receive around 3 million dollars annually.

Voters we spoke with were for it.

“There’s gotta be some way of providing more resources for our schools,” said Lorna Dauw, a retired teacher and Colona Resident. “We’ve got buildings that are old and that need replacing.”

“It would mean the world because the school is the most important thing for the kids to learn and they need those things to progress,” said Jennifer Roth, who lives in Moline.

We couldn’t find a voter who was against the sales tax that wanted to talk on camera on Thursday afternoon.

Rock Island-Milan Schools even made a post card with facts on it to explain to voters.

Along with the school sales tax, a public safety tax is also on the ballot. Learn more about that here.

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