PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Three Ford County superintendents are discussing a one percent sales tax referendum for the March or November ballot in 2024.

The leaders of the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, Paxton-Buckley-Loda, and Tri-Point school districts want to put the money toward school resource officers and mental health providers.

PBL Superintendent Travis Duley said most of the money currently comes from property taxes, but if this vote passes, the tax burden would be shared with people visiting or passing through Ford County. He said the tax would not affect vehicles, groceries or farm equipment. He also said a sales tax is an untapped resource of revenue and an opportunity to improve facilities.

“I think that anytime people say the word ‘tax’ — and I certainly understand that, you know — there’s red flags put up and it gets people’s attention,” Duley said. “But people must understand what this could potentially do in terms of lowering our property taxes and shifting the tax burden to others, instead of just placing it on our local property owners.”

Duley said the PBL school district got about $23 million in tax revenue this year and more than half of that comes from property taxes. A decision should come by the end of this year or early 2024.