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District 186 Parent Group Delays Property Tax Increase

Updated: Wednesday, May 28 2014, 12:55 PM CDT
Members
of Invest In 186 have been at every school board meeting for at least
the last six months. They want school board members to consider a
property tax hike, but they never received a solid answer, which is why
their idea has been tabled for now.

The group of parents hopes to help Springfield schools by raising property taxes for those who live in the district.

"The
money is going to have to come from somewhere to stop the bleeding,
balance the budget, and restore those cuts," said Katharine Eastvold
from Invest in 186.

Just this year, District 186 made more than
$5 million in cuts. It included more than 40 teaching positions and all
school librarians, but now restoring those cuts seems impossible since a
property tax hike won't happen for at least another two years.

"Well
we are waiting until 2016 because the school board has not approved our
proposal and we are disappointed with that," said Eastvold.

School board member Adam Lopez says he's against the property tax increase. He feels it would never get approved by voters.

"I
think it's a real tough sell because I don't think everybody likes
paying their property tax. You know, a sales tax, I have looked at it,
it's a fair tax you get from outside the county," said Lopez.

Lopez
has proposed a 1 percent county-wide sales tax increase, but even that
has been tabled for now. Board members continue to wait on lawmakers to
finally increase state funding.

"I think the statehouse really
needs to help out the public school system and do what they are supposed
to do and help the kids out," said Lopez.

Until there is action at the capitol, Invest in 186 plans to move forward.

"This
does give us a great opportunity to really work with the public and
educate the public about the effect of the cuts on our schools and our
students," said Eastvold.

Lopez tells us more than 50 percent of
the county's sales tax comes from outside residents. That's why he
believes it would be an easier sell to voters.

Lopez says the board agrees money must come from somewhere since the district is only receiving 89 percent state funding.


District 186 Parent Group Delays Property Tax Increase


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