Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 11, 2014

Doan: Increase to allow proactivity

(Continued)

“For people to say 'You spend your money in Effingham, it should stay in Effingham,' I just don't agree with that thinking,” he said. “What is good for Effingham is good for the county and vice versa.”

Rural Effingham resident Robert Morrissey wants people to look past their feelings about government and realize the benefits the tax could have on area schools.

“I know there is a lot of mistrust in government,” he said. “If this was from the state government, I wouldn't like it either, but I think the local people in government can be held accountable.”

Morrissey said dysfunction at the state level makes it necessary for local districts to take care of themselves.

“It isn't the schools' fault they aren't getting state aid,” he said. “We need to ask ourselves, 'What are we going to do about that?”

One school district that has already turned to property owners to help finance its operating expenses is now hoping to also get a school facility sales tax approved by voters March 18 to help with facility costs.

Stewardson-Strasburg Superintendent Michele Lindenmeyer said the district learned from last year's referendum experience.

"For us, once you get the facts out there, it has to speak for themselves. Leave it up to them to make the best possible decisions to their own personal beliefs and their financial situations. Our taxpayers really stepped up and demonstrated their commitment to the community," she said.

With a newly renovated school, the cash-strapped district plans to use the money to maintain it but also abate property taxes.

"Give back what we can, but we've still got to keep these four walls intact," said Lindenmeyer.

Lindenmeyer said a misconception is that once it's collected by the state of Illinois, the state will hold on to it.

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