Ogle County residents will get the chance to cast their ballots for a new source of school facility funding on April 9, 2013 when they vote on a one-cent sales tax for school facilities.

This informational flyer provides answers to some frequently asked questions about this innovative approach to school funding.


What is the county sales tax for schools?

The School Facility Sales Tax for schools is a new approach counties can take to maintain and improve their region’s schools, support local jobs and shift funding away from property taxes across Ogle County. The April proposal asks voters to approve a county-wide, one-cent sales tax. The revenue from this sales tax will fund school improvements and, in some cases, will also decrease property taxes.

 Why is this needed now?

Many school districts in Ogle County are facing serious facility needs.  Safety and security improvements and supporting  21st Century digital learning require extensive updates to buildings built in a past era.  Sales tax revenues can address these facility needs while using competitive local contractors and not relying on property taxes.

How will funds from the sales tax be used for Oregon Schools?

Funds from this sales tax can only be used for maintaining, renovating and upgrading existing school facilities, for new construction and paying off building bonds that can help reduce property taxes.  Each school board in the county decides how to use its revenues.

The Oregon School Board passed a resolution to use 33% of revenue raised from the sales tax to reduce long-term debt and property taxes. It also allows for  structural improvements to be made to the high school, middle school and elementary school.

How can a sales tax lead to lower property taxes?

The resources provided by the county sales tax for schools will pay for school facility maintenance and improvements that would otherwise be funded by property taxes.  Ogle County school districts with outstanding building bonds would be able to apply new revenue to retire, or pay off, the existing building and life safety bonds thus lowering the property tax. New revenues would allow a district to be less dependent on new bonding and/or levying property taxes to pay for costly future facility projects.

A resolution passed by the Oregon School Board would use the revenue generated by the sales tax to decrease the tax levy for the retirement of bonds by approximately $160,000 per year and would make immediate state-mandated repairs to otherwise avoid property tax increases.

Improvements to the Oregon High School, Middle School and Elementary School will include:

  • Improved safety and security systems to better protect students and staff
  • Upgraded electrical capacity to accommodate advancements in technology and prepare students for the global marketplace
  • Upgraded electrical capacity to accommodate advancements in technology and prepare students for the global marketplace
  • Addition of air conditioning to the Jefferson Wing, DLR Junior High and Oregon High School

What is taxed?

This is a one penny sales tax that applies to retail purchases except for cars, trucks, medicine (prescription or non-prescription), grocery food items and farming inputs.

 Will every school district in the county benefit from this sales tax?

Yes. Every school district in the county will receive funds from the sales tax, which will be collected from all towns in the county and then distributed based on district enrollment (number of students from Ogle County).

 How much of the revenue generated by the sales tax will come from people who live outside of Ogle County?

It is estimated that 25-30% of the total annual revenue will come from people who live outside Ogle County, such as tourists or those traveling through the area.  In addition, all residents, including renters (not just property owners), will support the schools through this one cent sales tax.

What will it mean for Ogle County if the Referendum is passed?   

Improved Schools

A one penny increase in sales tax means all schools across our county have the potential to be safer, well-maintained and up-to-date. It also means our children will have access to the facilities they need to support a 21st century education.

More Jobs

A one penny increase will put people to work across Ogle County at a time when our local economy needs it. The one-cent sales tax increase for schools will provide ongoing funds for renovation and construction now and into the future.

Property Tax Relief   

A one penny increase can mean hundreds of dollars in reduced property taxes for Ogle County property owners. With the sales tax in place, visitors to Ogle County will be supporting our schools with their spending. In many cases the sales tax will reduce (abate) current property taxes.

 Additional Point:

 Eleven counties in Illinois have already passed the School Facility Sales Tax to improve their schools.    

 Contact Information

Oregon Community Unit School District #220

206 S. 10th Street, Oregon, IL  61061

Phone: 815-732-2186