Students Seek Support for RICO Sales Tax Hike - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Students Seek Support for RICO Sales Tax Hike

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Shopping in Rock Island County could cost you more if a proposed sales tax increase that will be on the March 18th ballot is approved.  The measure would mean a one percent sales tax increase for everybody that shops in Rock Island County. 

On Saturday, a group of parents and students walked through Riverdale to get the word out on how voting for it would benefit the county. Their message: 'Yes' makes "cents" for students.

Riverdale student Emma Jacobs knows all too well about how much of an upgrade the facility needs.

"If you look at schools in Iowa, I've been there for some tournaments, if you just drive past, their beautiful," said Jacobs.  "It's pretty obvious that our schools can use some upgrading. The high school doesn't have air conditioning and its distracting when its summer, fall and even late spring. We get out early because it's too hot to learn."

Emma says it's the same story for other students across Rock Island county and that's why community leaders are stepping in and hoping for a change.

"We are going door to door to deliver information to people. We have brochures that explain all the facts about the referendum and how it will affect them," said Riverdale school district parent Shelley Vermeulen. 

There is a measure aimed at funding facility projects for schools in the county will be on the March 18th ballot and it calls for an increase to the sales tax.  It would be a one cent tax increase on every dollar spent.  Some parents say small change that can have a big impact.

"We can't count on the state of Illinois for this funding. And so we need to raise it in a different way," said Vermeulen. "I think this would really help the school facilities. A lot of our schools here in Rock Island county are deteriorating. There are safety issues, security issues. There are just needs."

 "This would just be extra funds that would help improve our school facilities to give our students a 21rst century learning environment that they need to be competitive," said Riverdale school district parent Christine Caves. 
But,voters opposed to the measure say it'll just be another reason for shoppers to spend in Iowa.

"Too many consumers already are paying for roads in Iowa because gas is so much cheaper across the river," said Lawrence Bay.

Supporters of the sales tax hike plan to hold a rally at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union hall in Moline next Sunday, ahead of the March 18th vote.



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