Since 1999, the Rockford Public School district has turned to voters to approve a tax levy. In December, the levy expires so District 205 is asking for our support. The district is looking for the same 58 cents which generates $85 million of revenue for the district.
Tuesday night board members unanimously approved a November referendum to ask voters to continue the current tax rate. There was a little debate about making the tax levy permanent but only board member Jay Nellis was in favor of that proposition. The rest of the board stated that they weren't comfortable putting that decision in front of voters.
Superintendent Dr. Dennis Thompson says, "Our goal is to pass the referendum. We'll do whatever it takes to pass referendum. If voters are more comfortable with 5 years then that's the way we'll proceed.
School board member Jay Nellis states, “I think the time would have been right to make it permanent. We need it so let's be honest with people and say we need it on a permanent basis."
If voters reject the levy in November, the district would lose $14.2 million. Dr. Thompson tells me that would be mean massive cuts across the board. A referendum committee will form in order to help inform all of us about where the money is spent.