Madison County voters reject sales tax to help fund school facilities
Madison County residents said no Tuesday to a retailer occupational tax and service occupational tax, known as a sales tax, at the ballot box this week, with unofficial results showing 65 percent of voters rejecting the tax increase.
The referendum asked voters if a retailers' occupation tax and a service occupation tax (commonly referred to as a "sales tax") be imposed in Madison County at a rate of 1 percent to be used exclusively for school facility purposes.
According to a news article in the Belleville News-Democrat, the tax would have added about $23.4 million each year in school funding.
According to the Belleville News-Democrat article, the group Madison County Citizens for Sustainable Education spearheaded the opposition to the referendum because it would have made the sales tax in Granite City higher than Chicago's.
“This is a major victory for families, businesses and jobs in Madison County," the group's spokesperson, Nancy Moss, told the Belleville News-Democrat. "It was an intense and successful grass-roots effort. The voters have spoken three times now, and it would be very disappointing if it is placed on the ballot again.”
Granite City School District 9 Superintendent Jim Greenwald told the Belleville News-Democrat the district would now have to look at less expensive school security improvements.