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Local News

School chief: referendum failure will not impact operating budget

Oswego School District 308 Superintendent Dr. John Sparlin issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon after voters rejected the County School Facilities Sales Tax referendum placed on the ballot by the district.
Oswego School District 308 Superintendent Dr. John Sparlin issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon after voters rejected the County School Facilities Sales Tax referendum placed on the ballot by the district.

Kendall County voters rejected the County School Facilities Sales Tax referendum proposed by Oswego School District 308 by a wide margin in balloting Tuesday.

Unofficial vote totals showed 26,008 voters--just over 63 percent--casting "no" votes to just 15,120 "yes" votes.

In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Dr. John Sparlin said the failure of the referendum "has no bearing on the operating budget for the district."

Sparlin continued: "Our goal was to provide factual information to our community regarding the county-wide referendum. For Oswego Community Unit School District 308, that meant any income received by sales tax would have been allocated towards retiring debt and lowering property taxes. The SD308 Board of Education brought the measure forward to give Kendall County voters the option of adopting the sales tax or not."

Proceeds from the one percent tax would have been distributed to county school districts based upon their enrollments. Under state law, the districts could have used the revenues to abate property taxes or pay for school construction and maintenance projects. School districts are barred under state law from using the funds to pay for teacher or administrator salaries or pensions.

As Sparlin said in his statement, all income from the sales tax would have been allocated the SD 308 to retiring debt and lowering property taxes. At a meeting earlier in the year, the OSD 308 Board of Education voted to approve a policy that would have ensured that allocation. District officials previously announced that a district resident with a home valued at $250,000 about $249 on the school district portion of their annual property tax bill.

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