Wednesday, March 19, 2014
What Is Next?
The 1% sales tax increase for schools was defeated March 18th, 56% to 44%. Are we done? NO! If you read the March 19 Quad City Times on page 3 you will see that they are considering trying again in November. That could make for a crowded ballot as Hope Creek, the Rock Island County Courthouse and the so-called "Fair Tax" are all being considered for the November ballot. We must be ready. One Question we get asked when we appear before editorial boards is "How do we propose improving our schools?" I intend asking the Dispatch/Argus and the Quad City Times for space on their OP-Ed page in which we can outline our ideas on how governments could lower expenses which would free money for needed school improvements without raising taxes. . One theme would be to look across the river to Scott County where there is less school bureaucracy and fewer layers of government. Rock Island County has 25 county board members while Scott County, with a larger population, has only five county board members. Rock Island County has 30 township governments, each with a supervisor, clerk, four trustees, assessor, administrative expenses, and some also have a road commissioner. Iowa does not have township government. Some members of our group monitor the Rock Island County Board and could point out waste in county government. We may be able to point to substantial inefficiencies that would enable school improvement without endangering Rock Island County merchants. We cannot constantly increase spending and raise taxes, especially in a border region where lower taxes are so near.