On March 17, 2020 Vermilion County voters will be given an opportunity to cast a vote regarding a County Schools Facility Tax. The following is information about how this proposed tax would impact Westville School District and Westville residents.
What is the County School Facility Tax?
Since 2007, Illinois voters have had the option to approve a 1% County Schools Facility Tax (commonly known as a sales tax), that shifts facility funding away from property taxes.
What gets taxed?
Items that are currently subject to sales tax will be subject to the CSFT (no new items are taxed). Some items would not be taxed by the CSFT.
What is NOT taxed with County School Facility Sales Tax?
Groceries, Medicine, Vehicles, Mobile Homes, ATV’s/RV’s, Farm Seed, Fertilizer, and Farm Equipment
How can money be used?
The money can only be used for certain purposes including: paying off facility debt and reducing property taxes, building new school facilities, renovating current facilities, improving building safety security, hiring school resource officers, and. hiring mental health providers.
Money may NOT be used to pay teacher/administrator salaries, supplies, or textbooks
Who decides how money is used?
All financial decisions are based on local control and made exclusively by the locally elected school board.
How much money would Westville receive if implemented?
Each school district in the county would receive a portion of sales tax money that is based on student enrollment. The most recent projection for Westville projected $600,000 in new money.
How would Westville use the money?
The Westville school board has identified three priorities for new money if approved by voters.
Priority #1 - Reduce Property Taxes (13% reduction if the CFST would have been in place on the most recent tax levy)
Priority #2 - Hire a School Resource Officer. CFST revenue can be used to hire school resource officers. The district would work with the city to contract services for school resource police officers to help promote additional security and an increased safety presence in our schools
Priority#3 - Improve Opportunities for Students at Giacoma expand PK facilities and improving transportation flow to reduce parent traffic on Walnut Street, at WJHS expand classrooms to allow sixth grade to move to middle school model, at WHS build a performing arts center, install AC in varsity gym, improve track and restrooms at football field complex.
What will voters see on the ballot?
Shall a retailers’ occupation tax and a service occupation tax (commonly referred to as “Sales Tax”) be imposed in Vermilion County at a rate of one (1) percent to be used exclusively for school facility purposes, school resource officers, and mental health providers?
Voters will be asked to vote “Yes” or “No”
A simple majority of votes cast is required for passage
Where is information about Voter registration?
March 17, 2020, is a primary election. You may register with Vermilion County Clerk by February 18, 2020. Online registration extends until March 1, 2020. Grace period registration runs February 19 until March 16. Early voting begins February 6 until March 16. If you have voting questions, contact the Vermilion County Clerk at 554-1900.
Where can one find more information on this issue?
The district has put together an informational brochure to help get information to our community.
Additional questions can be made to the school superintendent, Dr. Seth Miller at 267-3141.