I have been reading the pro and con letters concerning the OFallon School District 90's tax increase referendum. The "yes" group believes that programs will be cut and education will suffer if the referendum fails. The "vote no" group believes there are areas of the budget that can be cut and not affect education. So, who is right?
I am a facts kind of guy and have questions. The school district has collected property taxes for the education fund from homeowners starting in 2001-02 of $3.8 million and that has increased every year and last year, 2011-12, $11.2 million while the average student population increased 1.4 percent. What has all this money been spent on?
Illinois is going broke and proposing changes to the Teachers Retirement System such as increasing retirement age and increasing teacher contributions. It would appear to me that the teachers union would better serve its members to establish an individual retirement type system in which teachers, etc., contribute their salaries up to the IRS maximum. This would provide their funds for retirement. Wouldn't this reduce the deficits for the school district as well?
Last, haven't high taxes also kept people from moving here? Aren't more people leaving the area than are moving in? These property taxes are the highest I have ever paid for any area with three school districts and a small population. I lived in a school district with 29 schools and my taxes were half as much as here with twice the property value.
You make the decision on April 9 -- increased taxes or hold the line.