By Todd Wineburner
Pontiac’s District 90 school board endorsed a proposal last night for a county-wide sales tax for school facilities. If the public approves the measure on the April ballot, it will raise sales tax in Pontiac one percentage point to 7-point-two-five percent, with the money raised earmarked for facility costs and debt relief. District 90 Superintendent Jon Kilgore is in favor of the new revenue source. He says his district has maintenance and compliance costs that have to be paid, so an alternative to revenue from property taxes is a welcome idea. During a presenation to the board, Kilgore explained that the sales tax revenue could also be used to retire existing debt ahead of schedule, and that could siginficantly lower property taxes.
In other action, board members approved a likely tax levy based on numbers discussed in the November meeting. They also heard a detailed annual accounting of the school's financial picture.
Kilgore also announced to the board that the calendars for Districts 90 and 429 will be coordinated for the first time. Both administrators have said that matching schdules for the two districts will help the students, parents, and district employees. The district's attendance incentives were also discussed. The district offers final exam exemption and other rewards for perfect attendance. The program so far has tripled the number of students who never miss a day.