Sunday, March 29, 2015
Ron Kopko had this letter published in the March 29 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. The Rock Island County school districts want to raise taxes again. Let's take a look at what it costs Rock Island County taxpayers to support the school's bureaucracy and administration. ..... First, we supposedly need ten superintendents at a yearly total compensation of $171,000 or $1,710,000 total. Then we need 45 principals at an average yearly total of $127,800 or $5,751,000 total. These are helped out by 12 assistant principals who make an average yearly compensation of $118,500 or $1,422,000 total. (Editor's note: these figures are for salaries ONLY, health insurance, pension and other benefits add to the total cost.) ..... We also have deans of students, assistant superintendents, chief financial officers, coordinators, counselors and general administrators. Most of these positions have yearly compensation of over $100,000 a year. ..... So we are probably spending over $10 million a year on our school system before we actually get to the "foot soldiers", or teachers, who actually have the responsibility of teaching our children. All of this money spent in the Rock Island County public school system, which only has an enrollment of about 22,000 children. ..... By the way, we pay the Illinois governor a yearly salary of $177,000 to govern and run the state of Illinois with a population of about 13 million. Granted, the governor has a lot of help, but the school bureaucracy has a lot of help too. Also, the governor is on call 365 days a year. No summer vacation or spring breaks. ...... When the school system talks about making cuts in its budget, it is usually at the bottom of the totem pole. The cuts should be at the top of the totem pole where the big money is. I think other people may be asking, do we need all this bureaucracy in our school system?
BOB BARTELS had this letter published in the March 29 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. It also appeared in the April 2 Quad City Times. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) After serious thought, I will vote no. I have been avidly following the debate on the April 7 school sales tax referendum, weighing the arguments on both sides. I have read news articles and many letters to the editor on this subject. I have looked at information on the Internet both for and against the tax increase in the sales tax. I especially read the many posts at voteno2tax.blogspot.com. ..... Like almost everyone, I want our children to have a good education, but I remain unconvinced that raising sales taxes will help improve the quality of our schools. It seems that the tax increases of the past have had no positive impact, instead our test results seem to be going down. Simply giving them more money does not make any sense without first seeing some positive results. ..... I have been moved by the argument that raising sales taxes in Rock Island County will only send shoppers across the river and that Scott County will receive far more from this added tax than will Rock Island County. And I worry about what the Illinois politicians will do to replace the lost sales tax revenue. ..... Just as a parent must say no to a child. we must say no to our schools. We only have so much money and we must all live within our budget. I will vote NO on April 7.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
LAWRENCE BAY sent this to the Quad City Times in rebuttal of their March 25 editorial endorsing the April 7 Rock Island County sales tax referendum complaining of several falsehoods told about our opposition to higher sales taxes. We shall see if this rebuttal gets printed. Nope, it did not get printed. "AS EXPECTED, THE QUAD CITY TIMES HAS ENDORSED THE APRIL 7 SALES TAX REFERENDUM. IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO MAKE ENDORSEMENTS ON ISSUES. WHAT IS NOT THE RIGHT OF THE QUAD CITY TIMES IS TO TOTALLY MISREPRESENT THE ARGUMENTS OF THE OPPONENTS. ..... YOUR EDITORIAL CLAIMS "OPPONENTS EAGER TO MAKE THE VOTE ABOUT TEACHER'S UNIONS, ILLINOIS POLITICIANS, AND THE STATE'S PENSION SINS OF THE PAST" IS TOTALLY FALSE. THE QUAD CITY TIMES HAS PRINTED 15 LETTERS OPPOSING THE SALES TAX REFERENDUM, NOT ONE MENTIONED ANY OF THAT. FOUR OF THE FIFTEEN COMPARED THE SALARIES AND EXPENSES OF ROCK ISLAND AND SCOTT COUNTY SCHOOLS BUT THE VAST MAJORITY MENTIONED SALES TAX DISPARITY. A VISIT TO VOTENO2TAX.BLOGSPOT.COM WILL REVEAL ALL THE PUBLISHED LETTERS AND OTHER ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE SALES TAX. NOT ONE OF THE 73 POSTS MENTIONS PENSIONS OR UNIONS. ...... YOUR EDITORIAL DOES NOT ADDRESS OUR CONTENTION THAT THIS ADDED SALES TAX WILL CAUSE IRREPARABLE HARM TO ILLINOIS AND ROCK ISLAND COUNTY BY SENDING MORE ILLINOIS SHOPPERS TO IOWA, PAYING SALES TAXES TO IOWA SCHOOLS AND GOVERNMENTS AND NOT TO ILLINOIS AND MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS. THIS WOULD RAISE THE SALES TAX TO 8.5 PERCENT IN MOLINE, 10 PERCENT ON PREPARED FOOD. DAVENPORT HAS A 7 PERCENT SALES TAX.PRUDENT SHOPPERS WOULD SAVE $15 ON EVERY $1,000 SPENT BY GOING TO DAVENPORT. ONLY A SPENDTHRIFT WOULD MAKE A LARGE PURCHASE OF FURNITURE OR APPLIANCES IN MOLINE. MANY WOULD DO MOST OF THEIR SHOPPING AND DINING IN IOWA. THE STATE OF ILLINOIS WOULD LOSE $62.50 ON EVERY $1,000 SPENT IN IOWA AND MOLINE WOULD LOSE $12.50. MANY ILLINOIS MOTORISTS ALREADY BUY THEIR FUEL IN IOWA BECAUSE OF TAXES. .....IT IS ODD THAT THE QUAD CITY TIMES EDITORIALS HAVE CRUSADED AGAINST HIGHER IOWA TAXES WHILE CRUSADING FOR HIGHER ILLINOIS TAXES."
Sunday, March 22, 2015
LAWRENCE BAY had this column in the March 22 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus matched against a column supporting the tax increase. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) For the third time Rock Island County voters face the same referendum to add another 1 percent to the sales tax. ..... Voters, in their wisdom, rejected this sales tax in 2009 and 2014 because it would make Rock Island County merchants less competitive and would harm our municipalities and the state of Illinois. ..... Voters also realized that our schools already receive what should be ample funding. Rock Island County schools have much higher expenditures per student than Scott County and yet our schools score poorer on the No Child Left Behind tests. ..... Proponents of the sales tax consistently misrepresent the arguments of those who oppose the sales tax referendum and insult the reasoning of those who vote NO. We are accused of being simplistically anti-taxation, of starving our schools, even of being unconcerned for the education of our children. ..... Proponents do not even try to answer our arguments against the school sales tax, possibly because they can't. ..... Proponents claim that money raised through this sales tax can only be used for facility construction and maintenance, and this is true. However, money currently in school budgets earmarked for facilities can now be used for salaries or other uses. It is called "displacement" and, even with this added tax burden, there may not be any additional money spent on facility improvement. Proponents do not address how this sales tax will harm Rock Island County and the state of Illinois. Currently, if you buy most items in Moline or Rock Island, out of every $100 spent the state of Illinois receives $6.25 in sales tax revenue and the city $1.25; plus the local merchant makes a profit to pay salaries and property taxes. ..... With the proposed additional 1 percent the total sales tax becomes 8.5 percent; 10 percent on liquor and prepared food. ...... Scott County has a flat 7 percent sales tax on most items. A RICo shopper would save $15 on every $1,000 purchase by buying in Scott County. This would mean the state of Illinois would lose $62.50 and our cities would lose $12.50; plus our merchants would have fewer sales, causing a possible loss of jobs and property taxes. ..... Meanwhile, even more RICo dollars would cross the river to help fund Iowa governments and schools. ..... Does anyone think that prudent shoppers won't go where taxes are lower? Count the Illinois license plates at the Sam's Club on Elmore, just to save a few dollars! How many more will go to Iowa to buy their furniture, yard equipment, electronics, appliances and other items to save $15 per $1,000? ..... How many will decide to do the majority of their shopping and dining in Iowa to save money? How will Illinois and our municipalities replace the lost sales taxes? And how many Illinois stores will close because of lost sales? How many jobs will be lost? ...... Proponents claim that property taxes will decrease. They offer a possible temporary reduction of $18.80 per year on an average $114,000 home. Henry County voters believed the promise of lower property taxes and now are stuck with that added sales tax, forever. ..... What happened? Henry County school boards raising the school property tax levy, 9.58 percent in Annawan costing an additional $53 per year on a $100,000 home! Meanwhile, sales tax revenues are way below projections: either the projections were inflated or consumers changed their buying habits due to higher sales taxes. ..... Rock Island County schools receive far more money per student than those in Scott County yet underperform. ..... Rock Island District 41 receives the most per student in the Quad Cities, $11,562 in the latest available figures yet scores 30.1 percent on reading and 25.9 percent on math. Davenport spends $1,300 less per student yet scores 70.7 percent on reading and 66 percent on math. All Rock Island County school districts score poorer on math and reading than any Scott County school. ..... We all want the best education possible for our children but this sales tax will do far more harm than good. It could help turn Rock Island County into a retail desert and cause Illinois governments to lose sales tax revenue. ..... We urge a vote of NO on April 7. For more information, visit voteno2tax.blogspot.com."
RICHARD ROGERS had this letter published in the March 21 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. "Take a moment to reflect upon the current attempt to raise sales tax for school funding. This has been defeated twice in just a very short time. ..... A gas tax increase is on the agenda in Illinois and fee increases for registration and license renewals are being discussed. The state intends to cut back on state money to cities and counties, which will ultimately lead to an increase in property taxes. ..... Gas prices have risen dramatically in just a short time. And yet the schools want more money from us to fund projects. ..... Schools must start cutting administrative costs, condense into one superintendent for all Rock Island County schools. The savings would be in the millions of dollars. All these administration costs, salaries, cost of operation, equipment, etc., that are duplicated in each district. Cut out the waste in administration rather than continue to push for more money. ...... Despite the recent letter that quoted state law that would require the money to go to facilities, the law is no guarantee that if passed the monies collected will go to any specific agenda. ..... Illinois state law requires the state to make pension payments to the pension fund, which it has not. Davenport schools are trying to violate Iowa law by using reserve funds incorrectly. Vote no on the sales tax increase again, force the schools to do what the taxpayers must do, live within your means."
CRAIG HOLLISTER had this letter published in the March 18 Dispatch/Argus and March 20 Quad City Times. "Yet again the voters of Rock Island County have to vote on raising the sales tax. We said no in 2009. No in 2014. Now we have to say no again? ..... When will no mean no? Are they that clueless? The voters don't want another stinking tax shoved down their throats. We are taxed too much as it is. ..... We turn it down not because we don't love our children. We turn it down because we want and desire Rock Island County to succeed. This county is dying due to high taxes. This county also has a reputation of being corrupt and inefficient. Are we to trust them with even more money? I think not. ...... Look at the shoppers driving across the river because of Rock Island County's and Illinois' high taxes. It seems that every week I read a story or and editorial that says Rock Island County is falling further behind Scott County. 200 million Rock Island County dollars are spent elsewhere, and we are again being asked to raise more taxes? This county and Illinois are in a hole because of high taxes and government waste. You don't climb out of a hole by digging deeper. We need to cut the tax burden and cut the waste! ..... And what about Illinois wanting to increase the gasoline tax by 13 cents? This, and the sales tax increase hurt the poor. Hurt the single woman. Hurt the middle class. Hurt everyone. ..... I will no doubt vote a big "NO" on April 7."
BILL LONG had this letter published March 15 in both the Quad City Times and Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "When a person accepts a position that is dependent on tax dollars, they also accept the position that they will spend those dollars in a responsible manner. ..... The proposed school sales tax referendum is supposed to be used for capital improvements. ..... We know it would be easy to budget new dollars for improvements and shift current monies to compensation and benefits. ..... If you check with openthebook.com you will see that in the Moline District 40, Rock Island District 41 and United Township District 143 there are 156 teachers listed who have annual earnings from $100,000 to $209,000. ...... It would seem their budgeting process is centered on salaries and not capital improvements. ..... Seems like the average Rock Island County taxpayer's income has a long way to go to catch up with the teachers they support. ..... The idea that we should vote in a tax increase for capital improvements is the usual promotion by the school board and teachers union. Why is it we never hear of them cutting back on expenses to provide any needed additional dollars? ...... They ask us to approve more taxes for them and yet they limit the public use of these buildings to satisfy their own political comfort zone. ..... Did you ever try to hold a rally for the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in a school facility? Save your breath, they won't allow it. ..... Let's make sure this referendum is defeated, as it has twice before, until those in charge can modify the budgeting process to the needs of the public and students, not the administration."
Friday, March 13, 2015
This information on the school sales tax is from Illinois Policy Action and can be found at www.stoptaxhikes.com. Reading it should convince almost anyone to vote NO on April 7. (..... will mark paragraph breaks.) THE SALES TAX NEVER EXPIRES AND VOTERS CANNOT REPEAL IT. No County school facility tax has ever been repealed in Illinois. Citizens cannot initiate a vote to repeal the tax hikes. The taxes cannot be repealed by a county or school board as long as any school district in a county is using the money to pay off debt. ..... HIGHER TAXES WON'T REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES. The County School Facility Tax law doesn't make any mention of property taxes or property tax relief. And it doesn't give taxpayers any rights or legal remedies to force school districts to keep their promise to cut property taxes. ..... Champaign County passed this sales tax hike in 2009. Most residents never saw property tax relief; in fact, taxpayers in 12 out of 13 school districts saw property tax bills go up by average of 22 percent. ..... AN OUT-OF-STATE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION IS BEHIND THIS TAX HIKE. An international banking conglomerate called Stifel Nicolaus initiates sales tax referendum campaigns by approaching and recruiting local superintendents and school boards. They want to make money by making you pay higher taxes. Stifel helps school districts establish, guide and finance fake grassroots campaign committees in support of the tax hikes. Stifel profits by handling the bond sales of local school districts after a tax hike goes into effect. ..... Stifel is joined by other large investment firms, construction companies, school design firms. and banking institutions who actively push pro-tax campaigns on unsuspecting voters.
Mark Lioen had the following droll letter printed in the March 13, 2015 Quad City Times. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "In the concluding moments of the "Men in Black" film, one of the characters opens a locker door and is shocked to discover a universe of giant aliens walking around the small confines of our own Lilliputian world. It is akin to our local and state officials whose concentration on matters here in Illinois made them oblivious to the competition among states for businesses as well as competition for them in the wider world. ..... Once again, local officials have blithely placed a referendum question on the April 7 ballot concerning their desire to place a 1 percent sales tax on purchases made in the county in order to fund the maintenance of public school buildings. ..... As usual, they're outspending opponents in a frantic effort to reassure voters by means of push polls, i.e. phony polling designed to convince people to vote the way that those who fund the poll desire, that the money will be spent locally and only on building structures and not on salaries. ..... With the economy still in the doldrums and the onerous weight of existing taxes and regulations already driving local firms to close or move to other states, the question is whether we wish to augment their difficulties and ours by the imposition of yet another tax?"
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Sheri Diekman had this letter published in the March 12 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "This April 7, Rock Island County residents will be asked to decide if we want to increase our county sales tax by 1 percent. This would mean we would have an 8.5 percent sales tax on most purchases in stores and 10 percent on restaurants and liquor. ..... Just across the river from us the sales tax on most consumer goods and restaurants is 7 percent. That means we would be giving Scott County a big advantage over Rock Island County. We stand to lose millions in sales to our local businesses and millions in tax revenues to other counties. ..... People who support the increase say it will give us property tax relief. Henry County promised the same thing to get their tax increase and now they watch their property tax climb. Why? It's because people will drive to a different county to save money. Why would I pay 8.5 percent for taxes when I can go over the bridge and pay 7 percent? ..... Raising taxes and driving purchasers away from Rock Island County will end up with even lower tax revenue. We will be stuck with this tax increase and then they will come after our property taxes to make up the difference. ..... Please remember to go to the polls on April 7, and vote down this tax increase."
MIKE MILLER had the following letter printed in the March 11 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. "Yes, again the school facilities tax referendum has found its way on the ballot. Proponents probably believe the proposal has a better chance in an off-year election when only those motivated to approve the tax are likely to come to the polls. I hope they are not correct and we will not allow those behind the referendum to burden us with another tax. ..... If school officials want to make facilities a priority, most would probably agree that addressing past negligence is a good idea. I doubt many would complain if facilities became the top priority of boards when they spend from current revenue sources. ..... Then, if there is a shortfall, they can bring a referendum. They can ask for a separate new sales tax to support wages, benefits and tens of millions of dollars in other spending currently prioritized above spending on facilities. ..... This referendum would lack the emotional punch of facilities for the children, (or more dramatically, facility upgrades for the safety of the children), but it would demonstrate that facilities have finally become a priority and not just something that will get done if there is extra money provided by a separate tax designed to eliminate tough decisions concerning other less popular spending. ..... I will vote against giving schools a separate fund. It will simply allow them to continue making facilities an afterthought while making wages and benefits their real priority. Hopefully, the overwhelming numbers which opposed the tax last time will again go to the polls. Maybe another resounding "No" will put an end to this unnecessary tax referendum".
Sunday, March 8, 2015
One can reach some interesting conclusions by studying the 2012 Rock Island and Scott County School statistics. One finds that Rock Island School District 41 has the highest Budget/Student figure at $11,562 per student yet has the lowest scores on the No Child Left Behind test with 30.1% meeting or exceeding the national standard for reading and 25.9% on math. A failing grade in any scoring system. United Township is not much better spending $11,442 per student and scoring 38.8% on reading and 39.6% on math. Every Scott County school has higher test scores in both reading and math than any Rock Island County school. Rockridge is the highest scoring school in Rock Island County with 61.8% scoring at or above the national standard in reading and 65.2% in math at a per student cost of $10,705. Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley had a per student cost of $9321 with reading scores of 80.5% and math scores of 78.5%. North Scott had a per student cost of $9074 with reading scores of 82.1% and math scores of 78.6%. Davenport had a per student cost of $10,262 with reading scores of 70.7% and math scores of 66%. Looking at these figures one might reach the conclusion that maybe the best way to improve education is by spending less money. Of course there are many factors involved in these results but it is obviously unrealistic to assume that throwing more money at our schools will lead to any improvement!
Friday, March 6, 2015
Jon Noland had the following letter published in the March 6, 2015 Dispatch/Argus. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "Mark Schwiebert recently made the point that taxes are necessary and "the price we pay for democracy". And he is correct -- to a point. ..... Certainly, in our infancy, certain necessities were required to create and sustain our wonderful country, and those required taxes to pay for them. The problem is, when and where does it all stop -- when is enough, enough? ...... A government that gets elected by promising more acquires an insatiable appetite for tax money. Governments will not control themselves for their goal is to spend to get re-elected. How many times has a governmental entity returned tax monies? So, my fellow taxpayers, it is up to us to control that appetite for our tax dollars. ..... A case in point: For a third time a proposed sales tax to supposedly benefit schools is being placed before us. Vote it in, and money that might have gone for infrastructure will go toward raises while backfilling infrastructure with new tax dollars. So you are really voting for more money for salaries, retirements, etc. Do not fall for this smoke and mirrors -- vote NO! ..... If we say no enough times, then maybe real reforms will come about. Why not one school district for all of Rock Island County? Why not year-round school years -- summer breaks date from our old agricultural based economy? Why not teacher raises based on performance and not contract negotiations? Why not retain the best teachers as opposed to those with the longest tenures? ..... Institute some of these ideas, and then we'll talk about more money. ..... Until then vote NO!"
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Why is new school, or any other government construction project so expensive? PREVAILING WAGE! Prevailing wage adds from 20 to 35 percent to the cost of any taxpayer-funded construction project. We pay plenty in property taxes, more than enough to properly maintain our schools and to add needed improvements if they were built under the same rules that we use on our homes! We would not willingly pay the inflated salaries demanded under the so-called 'prevailing wage'. We could not afford to pay 'prevailing wage' on our homes! Rather than constantly raising taxes to satisfy the insatiable greed of the unions and contractors WE SHOULD WORK TO ELIMINATE THE PREVAILING WAGE REQUIREMENTS! Then we might find that we can afford to make needed improvements to our schools. Vote NO on the school facility sales tax.
Lawrence Bay had this letter published in the March 5 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. It also appeared in the March 9 Quad City Times. (..... marks paragraph breaks) "This March 2 there was only a difference of seven cents a gallon in gasoline prices between the BP stations in Rapids City and LeClaire, hardly enough to cause motorists to drive out of their way. As a result, Illinois should be collecting more motor fuel and sales tax revenue and this trend should continue unless Illinois raises taxes. ..... Instead, the geniuses in the Illinois Legislature are discussing raising the gasoline tax 13 cents per gallon and doubling the sales tax on food and drugs. Rock Island County will vote on April 7 whether to add another one percent to the sales tax. These taxes, if enacted, will only destroy any chance that Rock Island County merchants have to remain competitive with the Iowa Quad Cities. Illinois will collect less sales tax revenue as will the cities of Moline and Rock Island, stores may close causing the loss of property taxes and jobs. ..... For the state taxes all we can do is write letters to Gov. Bruce Rauner and our legislators but for the Rock Island County sales tax we have a direct vote. Vote NO on April 7 and you will help save Rock Island County merchants and the state of Illinois. You will also send a message to Springfield, "Don't raise our taxes.""
A real fiscal conservative (aka a real cheapskate) who almost always buys his gasoline in Iowa reports that the price of a gallon of gas was $2.26 at the Sam's Club in Davenport and $2.27 at the Sam's Club in Moline and he bought his gas in Moline! I am sure there are many other Illinois motorists who used to buy their gas in Iowa are now buying in Illinois because the price differential isn't worth the time and effort to cross the river. They are probably also doing less other shopping in Iowa and spending more of their money in Illinois paying for Illinois roads and funding Illinois governments! Illinois is almost certainly collecting more motor fuel and sales taxes now that Iowa has raised their fuel taxes. This should continue unless Illinois stupidly raises gasoline taxes AND ROCK ISLAND COUNTY VOTERS RAISE THE SALES TAX. Illinois, and our local Rock Island County governments, have an opportunity to collect more tax revenue BY NOT RAISING TAXES! Don't blow this opportunity. Vote NO April 7.
Mark Lioen had this letter published in the March 5, 2015 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. Despite the current winter weather, spring and local elections on April 7 aren't far away. Among the measures to be decided, in addition to the choice of candidates, will be the perennial referendum on whether to impose a 1 percent sales tax in support of education. In the past, voters, in their wisdom, have declined to approve the tax for a number of reasons. ..... The first reason to vote against the tax is the pernicious effect that it will have upon local retail outlets and their ability to sell their services and merchandise to the public. Initially, 1 percent sounds like a small amount, but on larger purchases, it could well be sufficient to influence the customer to either not purchase the item from that local store or go online to buy it at a cheaper cost. Moreover, it has to be place in the context of the present amount of sales tax and the cumulative effect of these taxes on the consumer. Will this 1 percent be the straw that breaks the camel's back and moves him or her to postpone his purchase indefinitely? ..... A second reason to reject the tax is that businesses have continued to struggle under the weight of an extremely slow economic recovery. To impose an additional burden will either prolong an already ponderous journey towards prosperity or drive the retailer out of business altogether. The environment for business in Illinois is already rough, and the question is whether we wish it even worse at this particular time?
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Charles Fisher had this letter published in the March 4, 2015 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. It also appeared in the March 11 Quad City Times. (..... marks paragraph breaks.) "Rock Island County schools have again placed a sales tax increase before the voters for the April 7 election. Voters should reject this increase after reviewing the financials below. ...... In Iowa, average 2013 teacher salary is $33,226. The Illinois average is $37,166, which is above the national average of $36,141. Illinois teachers are (more than) fairly compensated. ...... The Federal Education Budget Project lists the Davenport Community School District budget for 2012 (which likely includes local option tax funds) as $174 million, which served 16,995 students for a per-student cost of $10,262. ..... The Rock Island District 41 budget for the same period was $76.568 million and served 6,622 students, for a per-student cost of $11,562. ...... The Moline District 40 budget for the same period was $78,817 and served 7,429 students, for a per student cost of $10,609 per student. ...... Davenport's academic performance is solidly ahead of Rock Island County. Davenport scores 70 percent and 66 percent proficient in the 2011 No Child Left Behind reading and math tests, while Moline respectively scores 46.9 percent and 53.8 percent. Rock Island trails the pack at 30.1 percent and 25.9 percent. Davenport achieves dominance while spending $347 less than Moline, and $1,300 less per student than Rock Island. ..... Rock Island County schools should not ask for larger budgets, but instead trim costs and increase performance to match our nearby peers. ...... If county schools can not meet these standards, then perhaps we should consider outsourcing the maintenance of Rock Island County schools to the Davenport Community School District, which appears both more capable and thrifty by all measures. ..... Illinois students deserve better."
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Carol Bay had the following letter published in the March 3, 2015 Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. ..... marks paragraph breaks. "For years the Illinois Quad-Cities has been at a retail disadvantage as shoppers go to Iowa to take advantage of lower taxes. ...... Almost twice as much sales tax is collected in Scott County compared to Rock Island County and perhaps half our motorists buy fuel in Iowa, paying for Iowa roads, schools and governments. ..... Iowa raised its tax on gasoline 10 cents per gallon removing the incentive to buy fuel in Iowa. This gives the retailers of the Illinois Quad Cities a golden opportunity to become competitive provided Illinois holds the line on taxes. ..... This also gives Illinois an opportunity to collect far more motor fuel tax in all the counties bordering Iowa and for the state and municipalities to collect more sales tax, but only if Illinois can refrain from raising taxes. ..... Instead, there are discussions on raising the Illinois motor fuel tax by 13 cents per gallon and doubling the sales tax on food and medicine (Iowa does not tax food and medicine). ..... On April 7 Rock Island County voters will decide whether to add another one percent to sales taxes that already are higher than Scott County's. ...... Illinois is at a crossroads. Illinois can collect more gasoline and sales taxes by not raising taxes, or chase even more shoppers to neighboring states and with it, cause retailers to close Illinois stores with the resultant loss of property taxes and jobs. ..... To make Illinois competitive, vote NO on raising Rock Island County sales taxes April 7."