School districts throughout Woodford County will benefit from an added revenue stream if voters approve a school facilities sales tax referendum on the March 20 ballot.
The tax proposes assessing a one-percent sales tax on goods sold within the county. Excluded from the sales tax would be vehicles, farm equipment and parts, boats and registered vehicles (RVs), unprepared food, drugs and services. Businesses would pay the tax collected to the Illinois Department of Revenue, which would keep two percent of the total for administrative purposes and disburse the rest to the Regional Office of Education (ROE). The ROE would then distribute the money to school districts based on their enrollments. While the revenue would pass through the state, it is not subject to the General Assembly budget process or to cuts made annually by that body.
The actual amount of money each district would received is determined by the amount of sales tax collected as well as enrollment figures. The money follows the students in residence in the county who attend public school, regardless of where the school is located. Most school districts have at least a few students who live in other adjacent counties such as Fieldcrest with those in LaSalle or Marshall. Some have students who live in the county and attend a school that is part of the district, but located in another county such as El Paso-Gridley, whose junior high is in Gridley, which is in McLean.
See article on March 8 Woodford County Journal newsstands