District Seeking Public Approval in Revenue Use - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

District Seeking Public Approval in Revenue Use


Designs for the new addition to Central High School in Davenport were revealed at Tuesday evening's school board meeting. Officials said the designs are not finalized, but they should give the public a better idea of what the new addition will look like.

The addition includes a 1,000-seat auditorium with a new pool below it. The project is expected to be done by summer 2016 and will cost about $21 million. It is being completely funded by revenue from the state one-cent sales tax.

The way the district uses that revenue is the subject of a ballot measure in the upcoming Sept. 10 school board election. You can read the district's official description of the ballot measure here.

But Davenport Public Schools CFO Marsha Tangen put it in more simple terms Tuesday.

"It is strictly asking the public to let us continue using the money the way we've been using it - for infrastructure, remodeling and renovations," Tangen said. "It is not a new tax. It is only extending the use we currently have of how we use the dollars."

If voters approve what's being referred to as Prop. D, the district will maintain control of the penny sales tax revenue until 2029. That's also the year the state legislature set the tax to run until.

If voters do not approve the measure the state would then control how the district uses the revenue. School officials said that could put off future projects.

Currently, the district gets about $13 million/year from the penny sales tax revenue. It is required to use the money for infrastructure improvements. Some of the projects its used the money for in the past have been installing air conditioning in all the schools and making security improvements.

The last time a measure like this was up for a vote was in 2008 when the public approved it with a majority. Because of that and because it says no one has voiced any opposition thus far, the district said it believes the measure will pass this year.

If it doesn't, it said it would have time in the future to put the issue up for a vote again.