Stephenson County Sales Tax Voted Down

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STEPHENSON COUNTY (WIFR) – Some school in Stephenson County will not be getting more money after a sales tax is voted down. Instead, property taxes could be going up.

Essentially, the vote means property taxes will stay the same in the Freeport School District and may even go up over the next few years to help pay off the district’s bond debt.

The Freeport School District says they will still get the money they were going to get with the sales tax, only a big chunk of that revenue will keep coming from property taxes. The district says the referendum wasn’t geared towards raising more money for Freeport and County schools, but instead switching where they get their money, from mostly property tax revenue to sales tax revenue. District leaders say property taxes could have dropped alleviating stress on home and business owners, but that’s not going to happen now.

"I guess the one bottom line is that the money is still going to come in, unfortunately it's not going to come in via the sales tax it's still going to be by the property tax. Home owners and business owners will be the ones paying that tax,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business for Freeport Public Schools, Patrick McDermott.

Other districts outside of Freeport were looking forward to possibly getting more money out of the tax, but now have to look elsewhere for new revenue if they have anywhere to look at all.

Freeport School District leaders are now going to start back at square one and see if they can find other ways to “save local tax payers some money.” They may consider putting a similar referendum on November’s ballot.

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