PEKIN — Tazewell County voters Tuesday rejected a school facilities sales tax for the third time.
After school facilities sales tax proposals were soundly defeated in 2009 and 2013, Tuesday's vote was 26,022 to 24,514, or 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.
The closer vote was encouraging to county superintendents.
Kyle Freeman, Washington Community High School superintendent, said he thinks the school facilities sales tax will be back on the ballot "sooner than later."
"We need to take a look at the results of (Tuesday's) election and see in which areas we need to focus our efforts," he said.
Had the 1 percent school facilities sales tax passed, it would have gone into effect July 1, 2019, and initially generated $13.7 million annually for Tazewell County's public school districts.
Revenue would have been dispersed to school districts based on enrollment, at an estimated $656 per student.
For the Morton School District, about $2.1 million annually would have flowed into a K-12 district that’s looking at an estimated $19 million in facility repairs and maintenance costs over the next 15 years, according to Superintendent Jeff Hill.
An estimated $2.9 million annually would have been sent to the four school districts in Washington.
Revenue from a school facilities sales tax can be used only for construction or renovation projects, or to help pay off bonds from completed projects. A school facilities sales tax is in place in 51 of 102 counties in Illinois, including Peoria, Woodford, Fulton, Mason and Logan, all of which share a border with Tazewell.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.