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Lincoln Daily News
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1-cent sales tax to support Chester-East Lincoln CCSD 61

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To the editor:

Chester-East Lincoln community members have the opportunity on April 5 to make a difference. The 1-penny sales tax is on our ballot to help fund the schools of Logan County. We all know the state is in financial trouble, and funding for schools is already strained. We have a responsibility to help strengthen our community through the education of our youth. Part of that responsibility involves maintaining the facilities in which our students are educated.

Chester-East Lincoln Board of Education is making every effort to improve the learning environment of our students and has created a five-year plan to repair aging facilities. We currently rely on an old boiler system with inaccessible, faulty, in-floor heating pipes to warm our building. To be proactive and prevent issues with the heating system, we have had to issue bonds through standard school funding channels. The income from the 1-penny sales tax would allow us to cover the payment of these bonds at no cost to the property tax owners of our district. This is necessary work that will not only keep our doors open, but allow our aging boiler to be more efficient by preventing unintended heat loss.

The countywide sales tax will not be collected on groceries, vehicle purchases, prescription drugs, medicine, medical supplies, farm machinery and parts, car repairs, or haircuts. Money generated can only be used for school facility purposes, such as new roofs, energy conservation, safety, security and disability access.

[to top of second column in this letter]

The majority of the school's funding comes from our property taxes. But, because of the state's financial struggles, we can't keep asking our landowners to foot the bill. By passing this sales tax, the money will be spread over a larger number of people. Over 1 million people travel through, or shop in, Logan County each year. Every one of those people who spends money in Logan County will help support our education system. For a $45 meal at a restaurant anywhere in the county, the 1-penny sales tax will provide an additional 45 cents: money GUARANTEED to be sent to our Logan County schools and not used for other state funds.

Our students deserve the best from us, and we have a duty to provide the best we can for them. If you have questions, please let us know.

Chester-East Lincoln CCSD 61
Keith Birnbaum, board president

[Posted March 28, 2011]

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