PVA CHRIS ROSE IS AGAINST TAX RAISE FOR BOE
A citizens petition designed to remove the recent tax hike by the Lawrence County Bd. of education two weeks ago already has nearly enough signatures to force a vote on the ten cents per hundred dollar property tax.
County Clerk Chris Jobe gave the petitioners several rules to go by, said Kay Swafford, a leader in the petition drive. “But everything is being done by the book,” she said.
Lawrence Co. Schools Supt. Dr. Rob Fletcher led a push for the tax which, he says, is needed to build a new Louisa West Elementary school and other major construction projects at Blaine and Fallsburg Elementary Schools. Fletcher tried for and lost an effort to impose a ‘nickel tax’ four years ago.
On motion of Garnett Skaggs and second by Madellene Roberts, the BOE voted 5-0 for the tax.
The election will take place at the regular election in November or the BOE can ask for a vote at any time after the petitions are certified – but it will cost taxpayers about $32,000 Jobe said.
“We believe this deserves a vote by the citizens of Lawrence County, not five people who haven’t asked any voters we know of whether they agree with the construction project dime tax, Cheryl Gowan, another petition leader said.
She said the group has been forbidden access to Wal-Mart, and other large gathering places such as Food City and Dollar General but there have been several local businesses that have welcomed them and the effort is exceeding expectations.
“We are close to 700 signatures,” Ms. Swafford , who is one of the five citizens circulating the petitions, said. “We have petitions at JJ’s Liquidation, Rebel River Outfitters and Backwoods Bargains.”
Louisa Sav-a-Lot has also allowed the petition gatherers to be on their property.
Meanwhile the wording on the tax raise may have been at fault for some discussion on how local public officials are in favor of the “people vote” campaign.
Lawrence County Sheriff Chuck Jackson issued the following statement regarding the petition:
“…As our office is the tax collector for property taxes we will not be making
a comment. We encourage tax payers to do their research on the proposed tax
increase and how it will effect their property tax bills.”
But Lawrence Co. PVA is the direct opposite as a tax official, he says he is obliged to give his opinion.
“…I support the petition for a recall vote because everyone’s voice should be heard concerning a variable tax during difficult economic times, which has already increased from 10.0 cents to 12.4 cents (per $100 of assessed property). Every day my office receives requests for ways to help individuals lower their tax burden. Either they are on a fixed income or have had unforeseen events that affect their ability to pay. Due to these reasons I am not for a double nickel tax. If anyone has a question they may contact me at anytime.”
Other officials such as Judge/Executive Phillip L. Carter have not responded to our questions about whether they favor the tax or not. A Lazer commenter asked that we poll the local officials since they are elected leaders but none of the fiscal court nor the county attorney or Jailer have responded. We hope they will send their comment by the end of this week. Some of them do not have email addresses on file.
“…Cheryl, Johnny, Tommy and I talked with Chris Jobe to clarify the “personal” tax. It is actually going to be a tangible tax, same rate, for all businesses. Sav A Lot have been great to us and haven’t said anything about us being there. Down Home Grill allowed us inside! After sitting for several hours and only getting a few signatures because basically, Louisa is very slow most of the month. Lots of traffic yes but not lots of business for the stores. People have no extra money for anything. There are very few young people over 21 who have a decent paying job. Many have moved out of state or work out of state. Louisa has nothing to offer them.” –Kay Swafford
“We would like to get 1,000 signatures or more so they can’t do anything with the numbers, not saying they would — but it’s best to be safe,” Ms. Swafford said.
It will never pass. I agree to get as many signatures as possible. You don’t want any finagling with numbers. This board is not trustworthy.
If the Fletcher tax gets voted down AGAIN voters need to see if any possible way Fletcher and the Board would be personal responsible for the money for the special election.
Absolutely not, they’re human being too and most are on a budget. Just because your opinion is different than theirs, doesn’t mean they should have to pay for the vote. People wonder why division is so apparent, and now we know why.
So you are saying they have no responsibility at all after the voters have done rejected the Fletcher Tax before?
Instead of just 6 people deciding to take your money why didn’t they just put it on the ballot and let the voters decide if they want to give their money to them. Especially after it’s done been voted down already.
I can see making a mistake once but not doing the same thing again excepting a different result.
Fletcher and the BOE are trying to do what should’ve been done YEARS ago. Shame on those in charge back then, when there was no tax required law that addresses this situation. If you don’t like the law that says we have to pass the tax, in order to get state funding, talk to your representative and senators. You put them in Frankfort and they passed the law.
Obviously no one has been listening to why this can’t immediately be put to a vote. There are steps that must be gone through in order to get it to a vote. I guess maybe the board thought people would stop being so selfish and would actually want to effect change for once, but nope people are always going to be all about the almighty dollar.
How much would it save the school board if they closed the Blaine and Fallsburg schools?
We are already busing kids to the high school.
Would that save enough to build a new school?
Just because people disagree with this hand selected board doesn’t mean they are sparking division and hate! Lol. KAG is absolutely correct. The way they’ve gone about it is the cowardly way of trying to pass it without the approval of voters. Who I’m sure 90% don’t agree with passing it to begin with! Fletcher kept giving comparisons of big booming counties that have far far more than us trying to justify paying more while we still pay less on vehicle taxes. Makes no sense. We are small and have nothing here. We don’t aim to be like a big city.
Is Joe C selling the property or something? Is thst him building a mansion on the hill (part of town hill?) overlooking Louisa?
Joey in line for something
No, the people building on the hill are hard working normal people.
I used to respect guy building “the house on the hill” once upon a time….he seems to have bulked up and “enhanced “quite a bit …I’m sure he’ll have plenty of visitors dropping by to get their stuff once he gets moved in
It isn’t about whether or not people are against the new school. It is about people being able to afford it. While $300 a year may not mean much to some, for someone already watching every penny, it’s a big deal. I don’t think anyone disagrees that Louisa West needs replaced, but the means it takes to get replaced is what we don’t agree with. I can’t support something that is going to cost me more money when I am already in a bad financial shape as it is. I work for this school district and have for many years. We haven’t had a substantial raise in a LONG time and now we are experiencing inflation at a 40 year high. I just don’t have the money. I’m already trying my hardest to hang on to what I do have.
How is Carter County building a new high school with a lower tax rate than us and also NO additional nickle tax??
I personally have not been refused access to any of the above mentioned businesses or establishments. Others may have, but I have not. Everyone I’ve spoken with seems very concerned about the tax increase and what it will mean to them personally. In addition to the 12.4 % increase, our school board has the option to tack an extra 4% on top of that. The wording for this option is in the petition requirement that was provided to a committee member. I specifically asked for clarification on that option and it was confirmed it is an option. There’s so much more to this issue than a simple tax increase.
My stance remains the same. The voters of Lawrence County should be entitled to decide this issue. Not one person I’ve spoken with has been informed by their district board member regarding this tax increase. My self included. The committee has been tasked with doing what our school board should have done. Go into the community and talk with folks. I honestly feel that alone could’ve made a substantial difference. Just my opinion!!
Very well said. I haven’t seen my board member since elected. As a matter of fact I’ve never talked them. Nuff said
Same! I live at Mattie, and had to ask who our rep was on the board. I have never met him, and I will not be voting for him next election.