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Education

Herrin Unit 4 Superintendent Says No Deceit in Misspending of Sales Tax Dollars

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The superintendent of Herrin Unit 4 says the school district misspent money from its share of the county's school facilities sales tax in a good way.
A Williamson County judge has ordered the school district to re-allocate money from its share of the county's school facilities sales tax, after Marion attorney Ron Osman accused the district of using the funds improperly.

Superintendent Terry Ryker says from October 2008 through August 2011 Herrin Unit 4 used 2.7 million dollars to pay off old building bonds before it became legal.

"(In) 2011 the law was changed to specifically state, 'yes, you could use it to pay off old building bonds if you wanted to.' That was their intention all along. Just like our attorneys thought that they read into the law. For some reason, the courts ruled since they made that distinction in 2011, that meant that before that you shouldn't have done that."

Ryker says the abatement of the taxes saved residents around $1.20 per $100.00 assessment.

The misspending occurred because money from the sales tax was supposed to be allocated to building upkeep or new construction.

Ryker says they will move surplus funds from their working cash and the education fund to repay the money to its capital projects fund as required by the judgment.