Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 16, 2013

Unit 40 board to discuss restructuring plan, tax swap

Tony Huffman
Daily News

EFFINGHAM — More long term planning, which includes the possibility of consolidating school district buildings with a countywide tax swap to fund it, are planned for Monday's Effingham Unit 40 School Board meeting.

     At last month's meeting, the board heard from Superintendent Mark Doan about a proposed reduction in the number of school buildings in the district from six to three that may mean construction of a new facility. The district is proposing a 1 percent sales tax increase on luxury retail items to finance it.

     Doan noted that revenue from the proposed tax hike, which would have to be approved by countywide voters, would alleviate the property tax burden on local residents by abating bonds owed on Effingham High School. The hike is expected to generate $5.3 million for Unit 40 and other school districts with students residing in the county, with Unit 40 receiving half.

     The board is expected to discuss the proposal further Monday, and it will come before the board for a vote at the December meeting.

     A Truth-in-Taxation hearing on the district's tentative 6.25 percent property tax levy also will be held Monday. The board is expected to vote on the levy during the meeting.

     Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 138 or tony.huffman@effinghamdailynews.com.