School officials say tax hike will help the district - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

School officials say tax hike will help the district

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NAUVOO, Ill. (WGEM) - The Nauvoo-Colusa school district is planning for the future after winning a huge victory in Tuesday night's election.

Thanks to overwhelming voter support, the financially struggling district will be able to stay open.

Eighty percent of voters said yes to an education tax fund increase that will raise the rate from $2.00 per $100 in assessed property value to $2.55.

Nauvoo-Colusa middle school teacher LeeAnn Lambert says she was anxiously awaiting the results of Tuesday night's election because there was a lot at stake for her school.

"The vote was very important and we had a hard time passing it the first time so it was very nerve-wrecking," Lambert said.
   
When word came down that the tax referendum was passed by a landslide everyone was a bit surprised.

"It was very exciting to see it pass the way it did and that the community members really do care about our school," Lambert said.

"Last year it was pretty much the reverse," Superintendent Kent Young said. "I think only about 19 to 20 percent of people voted for it."

Young says the new funding will give the district a $280,000 boost, but even with that money the district will only break even.

Young says they're taking other cost-cutting measuring like not replacing one teacher and replacing another who is leaving with a half-time teacher to save salary money.

He says if the state continues to make cuts like putting the burden of teacher pensions on the districts, he says big funding changes would need to happen or  schools will be in trouble.

"I hope they give us a chance to levy that like with social security," Young said. "I hope the state would do something like that, if not school districts are going to be hurting."
   
Young says residents will see a decrease in the tax within 4 years.

The school district took out $600,000 in cash bonds last year to help it stay afloat financially.

Those will be paid off in about 4 years, and then the tax will go down 41 cents.    



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