Frequently Asked Questions

Eagle Vision FAQs header

What?

 

What is the county sales tax for schools?

The County School Facilities Sales Tax allows voters to approve a sales tax to fund school facility needs rather than relying solely on property taxes. The sales tax is for one cent on every dollar spent on qualifying retail purchases. The Jasper County Community Unit #1 school board passed a resolution to place the question on the November 6 ballot. The County School Facilities Sales Tax allows Illinois school districts a funding alternative that does not rely on local property taxes. As of 2017, 51 counties in Illinois have said yes to supporting their local schools by passing a sales tax referendum.

What is taxed and what is not taxed with the county sales tax?

The County School Facilities Sales Tax does not tax anything that is not currently taxed. Many essential items would not be subject to the tax...things such as groceries, drugs (including prescription medications, vitamins, and over the counter medication), farm equipment (including fertilizer and seed) mobile homes and licensed and titled vehicles (cars, trucks, boats & RVs).

Can these revenues be used for any other purpose?

Sales tax revenues may only be used for school facility improvements or for property tax abatement. Facility improvements may include additions and renovations, new construction, safety and security or energy efficiency enhancements, parking lots, technology infrastructure and much more. The funds can’t be used for operating costs, such as salaries, textbooks or computers, movable equipment, buses, or other instructional costs.

Why?

 

How was the building improvement plan developed for Jasper County Community Unit #1?

As part of the effort to address building and educational program needs, the district completed an evaluation to assess both the maintenance and educational improvements needed to ensure its buildings are safe, but also effectively support student learning. The proposal to improve school facilities using funds from the county sales tax was recommended by Eagle Vision, a community engagement program that involved district residents interested in finding solutions to improve the Jasper County Community Unit School District #1. A District Building Committee also studied JCCU1 schools over several months and provided recommendations for improvements.

How much revenue will be generated for Jasper County Community Unit #1?

The 1-cent sales tax will provide a revenue source to support the school district’s financing of school renovations and new construction. The goal of the school district and board of education is to complete these facility improvements with minimal impact to the district’s property tax rate.

What will the additional funding provide for the district?

Revenue generated by the 1-Cent County School Facilities Sales Tax will support the funding for new construction and significant renovations to JCCU1 schools enabling students to perform better in school and be better prepared for higher education or the workplace. The complete list of renovations will be finalized following community input provided at the Eagle Vision Open Houses and action by the Board of Education in the coming months.

Beyond improving the schools, how will the improvements impact our community?

Improving Jasper County schools helps to keep neighborhoods strong and keeps property values up. Numerous studies have found a strong correlation between quality schools and property values.

Potential Future Plans?

 

Why does the plan include closing Ste. Marie Elementary?

Extensive improvements and repairs were identified at Ste. Marie Elementary School in order to comply with state Health and Life Safety requirements. In addition, a number of improvements were recommended to optimize the educational environments to support the teaching and learning of today. Other concerns with this school include the need to update security measures, the distance from town, and the challenges the location poses for first responders in the event of an emergency. Newton Elementary School also needs repairs, though not nearly as extensive or expensive as Ste. Marie Elementary School.

Are there plans for improvements to any other buildings in the school district?

Currently, the improvement priorities are the items identified in recommendations by the Building Committee, Eagle Vision participants and the community’s input. Health and Life Safety issues identified by State officials and also required to be completed and are included in this proposal.

When?

 

When is the election?

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. The County School Facilities Sales Tax requires a simple majority (50% + 1 for approval).

I’m not registered to vote yet. Can I still register and vote?

Yes. Early voting is available September 27-November 6 at: Jasper County Clerk’s Office, 204 W. Washington St. Suite 2, in Newton Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Local residents who are not registered to vote can register and vote at the same time beginning in October. Grace Period Registration and Voting is October 10-November 5 at Jasper County Clerk’s Office, 204 W. Washington St. Suite 2, in Newton, Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

How will the County School Facilities Sales Tax appear on the November 6 ballot?

“Shall a retailers’ occupation tax and a service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a “sales tax”) be imposed in The County of Jasper, Illinois at a rate of 1% to be used exclusively for the school facility purposes?”