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EUREKA — Woodford County voters appeared split Tuesday on whether to approve a sales tax that would help local school districts.

With one-half of the primary election votes counted, yays were nudging nays by about 500 votes on a countywide referendum to implement a school facilities tax.

If approved, the tax would add a 1 percent sales tax on goods sold in Woodford County. Excluded from the sales tax would be vehicles, farm equipment and parts, boats and RVs, unprepared food, drugs and services. The Regional Office of Education would distribute the money to school districts based on their enrollments.

Proponents say the plan creates a revenue stream other than property taxes. Opponents say higher sales taxes make it more difficult for local businesses to compete.

A previous school facilities sales tax referendum failed in 2013. Forty-nine counties in Illinois have approved the tax.

No votes had been counted for a ballot question asking for money for the Roanoke Park District to pay for water for its swimming pool.

The ballot question requested the right to levy a property tax of 12 cents for every $100 of equalized assessed valuation. The cost for most property owners should be less than $15 a year.

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