Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 19, 2014

School tax question defeated

The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — The McClellan Grade School question of whether to raise the Property Tax Limitation law was defeated with a vote of 87 in favor and 145 against.

“I’m disappointed in the results,” said Charles Peterson, superintendent of McClellan Grade School District. “It’s difficult when you are looking at a tax increase; people just don’t want to go in that direction.”

The McClellan Grade School board placed the question on the ballot for the second time for voters in Tuesday’s Primary Election.

The question facing voters in McClellan school district was, “Shall the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law for McClellan Community Consolidated School District Number 12, Jefferson County, Illinois, be increased by an additional amount equal

to .99 percent above the limiting rate for any purpose of said school district for levy year 2012 and be equal to 3.242.80 percent of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein for levy year 2013?”

Had the question passed, the district would have seen an increase of about $75,000 for the district.

“General State Aid has been cut, and we rely on General State Aid and property taxes for our income,” Peterson said. “With the deficit, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to make ends meet. We have cut as much as we can.”

The district has 65 students and classes have already been combined.

Peterson said Tuesday night the district will have to look at finances again.

“Right now, that’s the number one thing,” Peterson said. “We can’t count on the extra money we would have received had referendum passed. We’ll be looking at personnel for sure, and looking at possibly joining with other school districts, possibly consolidating and going from there.”

According to information provided by Peterson, McClellan’s tax rate was 2.252800. Woodlawn Grade School is at 2.599330; Bethel Grade School at 2.98210; Mt. Vernon District 80 at 3.159260; Dodds Grade School at 3.287980 and Ina Grade School at 3.381580. Waltonville Unit 1 also borders McClellan, but as a unit district for grades kindergarten through 12, the taxing rate is higher to incorporate the high school grades.