County, School Officials Discuss Tax Referenda for Improvements
The Peoria Public School district and Peoria County officials plan to begin educational campaigns about the proposed tax hikes after Labor Day.
Peoria County voters face three separate tax referenda this November - a binding .25 cent sales-tax hike for roads, a binding .5 cent sales-tax increase to improve school buildings and an advisory property tax referendum that would assist veterans and the disabled.
With so many financial questions presented to voters on one ballot, Peoria School Board Vice-president Dan Adler and Peoria County Administrator Scott Sorrel know they must educate the public.
"There’s always concerns about voter fatigue if there’s certainly too many tax related referenda on the ballot. I guess the challenge is up to us to clarify the urgency of funding our schools," Adler said.
If approved, the school initiative would raise about nine-million dollars annually for all public schools in Peoria County. The road tax referendum, if passed, would allow the county to issue $35 million in bonds for highway repairs. The road tax would sunset after 15 years.
The Peoria Stadium on War Memorial Drive needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair. The Peoria Public School district owns the stadium and adjoining property. The Peoria Park District uses some of that land for recreation activities.
Adler says the stadium is not being used to its full potential. He says a public meeting is planned to gather input on the best future uses for the property.
"It’s to really have an open conversation with the public about acceptable uses for the property and to kind of examine some of the things the Peoria Public Schools and the park district have to invest in order to maintain it as it is today," Adler said.
Adler says a big box store, as proposed several years ago, is no longer an option. The meeting is September 20 at 6pm at Peoria Stadium.