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Bettendorf Schools Proposes Tax Increase

The Bettendorf Community School District is looking to get rid of wood chip and gravel surfaced playgrounds for rubberized surfaces.
/ Source: KWQC-TV

The Bettendorf Community School District is looking to get rid of wood chip and gravel surfaced playgrounds for rubberized surfaces.

They said they're safer, less maintenance and are ADA compliant.

But that's just one of the things that BCSD is looking to change with a proposed tax increase.

If voted in by taxpayers, it would cost the median homeowner about $12.88 more per year (for a home assessed at $180,000). That's a tax levy rate of 13.5 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation.

The levy, if approved, would provide the district with $189,433 annually.

"I think as a community, we have a reputation of saying yes to these types of proposals, so I would be in support of continuing to do the things that those that we've elected and hired to lead the district would recommend," said superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Annie Thomas is dropping off her son to his first day of kindergarten. She said when they're at recess, she wants them to be safe.

"I have a couple of other little ones at home that will benefit for years to come and we enjoy using the parks in the off season as well. I think it'll be great," said Thomas.

And that's why the BCSD is asking for another tax hike, to help improve their playgrounds and recreational facilities.

"This infusion of dollars which are exclusive to community use recreation facilities on school grounds will help leverage other district dollars as well as possibly city dollars to get these projects done sooner than later," said Dr. Schutte.

They also want to build a track at the Middle School.

"We need to resurface and/or completely redo some of our tennis courts surfaces because of extensive cracking," said Dr. Schutte.

He said playground projects often don't take priority in comparison to larger projects like renovations or expansions.

Many parents in the district agree. The tax increase is worthwhile.

"You're talking about pennies per day and typically the Bettendorf community rallies around these kinds of things," said David Wells. "I would say that there might be a time when we cry uncle, but I don't think we're at that point just yet."

But others said they can't afford it.

"I'm already paying enough taxes anyway since I'm on a fixed income, I don't have the extra money to more in," said Bettendorf resident David Johnson.

"Every time they turn around and they vote on it and it goes through then that means more out of your pocket," said Bettendorf resident Jerry Meye.

The PERL levy proposal question will be on the September 9th ballot.

There is a public forum on the proposed taxation at Bettendorf Middle School on August 25th at 6 PM.