School boards decide penny sales tax question will be on April ballot

Local school boards have met the threshold needed to ask St. Clair County residents to vote on a 1-cent sales tax hike in the April 4 election.

Boards representing more than half of the county’s students had to pass resolutions that said the question should be on the ballot. Regional Superintendent Susan Sarfaty said Friday that they had done that.

“We are over the 50 percent threshold to be placed on the ballot,” Sarfaty said.

Revenue from the tax hike would be divided among school districts to pay for infrastructure and building needs. The increase wouldn’t apply to certain purchases, like cars, trucks, drugs and unprepared food.

St. Clair County Board members are expected to vote Monday on whether to put a similar sales tax hike on the ballot. The revenue from that tax increase would be used to help pay for public safety needs in the county.

The school districts that were in favor of putting the question on the ballot include the following:

▪  Belleville 118

▪  Cahokia 187

▪  Dupo 196

▪  East St. Louis 189

▪  Freeburg 70

▪  Freeburg 77

▪  Lebanon 9

▪  Marissa 40

▪  New Athens 60

▪  O’Fallon 90

▪  O’Fallon 203

▪  Pontiac 105

▪  St. Libory 30

▪  Signal Hill 181

▪  Smithton 130

▪  Wolf Branch 113

Sarfaty said these districts represent 26,221 out of more than 41,000 total public school students, based on enrollment numbers in the districts’ Illinois Report Cards.

Lexi Cortes: 618-239-2528, @lexicortes