Group emphasizes implications from possible tax

By Anna Carrera

Published 03/10 2014 04:47PM

Updated 03/10 2014 06:26PM

COLES COUNTY -- People are concerned about a proposed one-percent sales tax increase, but it's not because of that one percent. They're worried about what could go along with it; their property taxes.

According to a state rule, if the sales tax passes, an obligation bond gets attached to it. That means, if the school district can't pay its bills with money from the sales tax, it could levy property taxes to make up the difference. Illinois is the only state with this rule.

Members of Coles CARES say, if people know about it and still want to vote for it, that's fine. But, they want people to understand the connection. The sales tax would pay for school repairs and infrastructure. But, a co-chair of Coles Cares says it's not where the money should go anyway.

More than half the students in the county go to Mattoon schools. Since the money would be divided based on how many students go to each district, Mattoon would get the most money.

Similar taxes are already in place for Champaign and Douglas counties. The Coles County vote will be on next week's ballot.

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