Graves County residents will go to the polls next month to vote on a proposed 18-percent property tax hike to add funding to the county school district.
In August, the school board voted to increase county taxes from 37.5 to 44.4 cents per $100 to qualify for a state matching grant to repair school facilities.
Superintendent Kim Harrison says the grant would keep Graves taxes among the lowest in the state. But with more than 1,700 signatures on a petition requesting the Nov. 12th referendum, Harrison says the district is on the defense.
"'Taxes' is not a popular word, but when we started looking at this, we also looked at what this would mean for the average tax payer per month. It’s an increase of $3.22 a month for the average taxpayer," she says. "That is a very wise investment for our students for the facilities they need."
Opponents of the tax say the school district has allowed school facilities to degrade to a point of need. The district, they say, has misused taxpayer money historically.