Sales tax in Jo Daviess County will benefit schools - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sales tax in Jo Daviess County will benefit schools

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The next time you go shopping in Galena, you may notice a bit of an increase in your sales tax. 

That's because the Jo Daviess County Board voted 10-6 on Monday to raise the sales tax by one-half cent. 

It's a move that will pour more funding into the schools in Jo Daviess County.

Greg Herbst, Superintendent of the East Dubuque Schools, said this measure will bring in an extra $185,000 per year for his district. 

"We have roofs and parking lots we need to fix," he said.  "And we need to bring our classrooms into a 21st Century learning environment."

Herbst says money from a grant ran out a couple of years ago that would have allowed them to upgrade to iFiber, which would mean more bandwidth for the schools.

"Children are raised in a digital environment, so it only makes sense that we teach them in one," he said.

Herbst said the influx of cash will also help offset a declining amount of state funding.  He said they've lost close to $1.3 million since 2010.

"When you're operating with a $6-7 million budget, $1.3 million is a big deal," he said.

Most parents in the district are happy about the decision as well.

"I'm really pleased to find out they did that," Amy Beaves, a mother of four who all have gone to the East Dubuque schools. "It just shows that people are thinking about our young children, because they really are our future."

When asked what she thought about the argument that it might drive business away, she replied: "When people come to East Dubuque, they come to stay," she said.  "This isn't a place you pick because you're just passing through."

Herbst says they hope to get these projects started as soon as possible.

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