On Friday, March 7th, 2014, News 8 interviewed Superintendent Dr. David Moyer, about how the 1% County Sales Tax could benefit the Moline School District (MSD). A 1% sales tax increase means that people would pay a penny more every dollar that they spend at restaurants, for instance.
"We have very old facilities in Moline and many of them are not up to standard, safety, and security protocols for the modern age," he said.
One of the facilities Dr. Moyer and the MSD would like to upgrade is the Moline High School's pool, which was built along with the school in 1958.
"[It] has been down two out of the last three years," he said. "[It] has not only compromised our competitive programs, but the youth programs who use it and our physical education programs."
The pool is empty because of structural problems, forcing students and others to swim somewhere else.
"We'll keep doing the best we can, but we certainly think we can do a heck of a lot better if we had some access to some funding that we could use to improve our facilities."
This is what the pool could like in a matter of years, Dr. Moyer says, but only with the help of the 1% County Sales Tax.
"If this doesn't pass, we're looking at [about] $40 million worth of facility upgrades that we're talking about a 10-12 year capital outlay for," he said. "If this doesn't pass, you're talking about a long, long time before the school district can really rectify a lot of the issues it has with its current facilities."
Other facilities the MSD would like to improve are the high school's auditorium:
Dr. Moyer says the MSD would also like to make Browning Field and the Wharton Field House handicap-accessible. Other upgrades at those two places would include the bathrooms, locker rooms, and concession stands:
Another project that the 1% County Sales Tax could be used on is a multi-purpose exercise facility, which Dr. Moyer says would give P.E. classes more room during school and spread out after-school activities:
Dr. Moyer says they could also use the 1% County Sales Tax on installing air conditioning at Moline High School and upgrading safety and security in schools district-wide.
He adds that the projects will not just be for the school community, but for the entire community.
"We know that 75% of our people don't have kids in school and the projects that we've identified to start with are projects that we think will have a much broader positive impact on the entire community."
Dr. Moyer says he and other school leaders are hopeful the referendum will pass and if it does, there will be an incentive for taxpayers. The Moline School District, as well as the nine other school districts in the county, have all pledged to lower property taxes.
"We're hoping to kind of shuffle the sales tax revenue for property tax relief over time."
For more information on the Moline School District and the 1% County Sales Tax, click here.
The grassroots group - "YES Makes Cents For Students" - is informing voters of the 1% County Sales Tax and its impact on school districts in Rock Island County. On its Facebook Page, the group includes a list of projects other school districts would like to use the 1% County Sales Tax on, if passed.