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New tax by BOE has been challenged 

Lawrence County Clerk Chris Jobe said today that a petition has been applied for to demand a vote on the 'nickel tax' imposed last Wednesday by the Lawrence County Board of Education for the purpose of raising new funds for a new elementary school to replace Louisa East and West.

Jobe said the petition will need more than 600 signatures if it is to put the issue on the ballot in a special election this year. The number of signatures required is based on 10% of the number of votes cast in the latest General election. 

He said he has 30 days after the petition and the signatures are turned in to his office to set a date for the special election. There is no regular election this year. "This will cost the school board about $30,000 to hold the special election," Jobe said. 

The petition drive will be led by Lawrence Co. businessman Gene Wilson who successfully launched a petition drive to put the wet-dry issue on the ballot in Louisa two years ago. Wilson has said there are other ways to raise money for the new school besides loading all the costs on property owners.

The petition application was signed by Wilson, his office manager Patty Carter, Todd Wilks, Jeff Kinser and Jerry Robinson and turned in today (Monday, March 20).

Lawrence Supt Dr. Rob Fletcher said the cost of a new school will be $15 million and the BOE has only $7 million in bonding capacity left after borrowing monies to repair all county schools four years ago. The nickel tax will raise a like amount to match what the BOE can borrow now.

Fletcher also said if the 'recallable nickel tax' was not passed this year, it would be 2023 before any school could be built and that many of his contacts in other counties said that the state 'will not even consider' a project unless the nickel tax is in place.

 

Comments  

+1 #16 Blaine School Parent 2017-03-27 00:32
Quoting Penny:
If you all knew the true state of Louisa West Elementary or your children went there, you wouldn't sign the petition. The school is in bad shape but the board is sugar coating everything so as to not alarm parents. Many rooms have leaking ceilings, windows pour when there is blowing rain, sinks don't work half of the time. Thankfully it has been a mild winter because windows, which are aged and drafty, let in whatever elements are outside....rain, wind, frigid or hot air. It's sad that ppl are so greedy that they'd allow students to suffer over such a small fee. I'd gladly pay the extra so my children and grandchildren will have a comfortable place to learn and better their future.

You haven't been to Blaine school.The school is always left behind.All the money goes to Louisa schools!!!
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+6 #15 Say saver 2017-03-24 14:07
Why not eliminate some of the pencil pushing jobs up there at the BOE and apply their salaries to the new school? They seem to create jobs and positions for people in their click. Years ago, FOUR people ran the day to day operations up there, now we've got people in offices up there milling about, and 2-3 people are doing a ONE person job.
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-8 #14 Sam 2017-03-23 17:47
Until you people realize that our kids are worth it nothing is going to change in Lawrence County. When you look at the tax base in other Ky counties you dont realize how lucky we are. But if we don't pass this nickel tax nothing is going to change. Should our kids have to attend a school that their grandparents and greatgrandparen ts attended? These kids are our future and they deserve good schools!
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+6 #13 Dave 2017-03-23 14:50
The point of the petition is to give the people a chance to say if they want the tax or not . For the board member to state " if they don't like it they can repeal it" is the wrong attitude . Let the people vote on it . Also remember that this is in order to get a larger loan , which will still have to be paid which will REQUIRE MORE TAXES ALSO !
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-6 #12 Grandmother Ratliff 2017-03-23 04:38
I was talking to an official the other night and I know that our surrounding counties all have a occupational tax that each person that works in the county has to pay. I suppose those people complain too because they don't live there but have to pay it for working there. I could never figure out why Lawrence county never did this. Let's face the facts and Gene Wilson you should be ashamed to start this. Give some of that old rusty money to help build a new school if you're going fight so hard on this nickel tax. I have grandchildren in the schools, nieces and nephews. Our children had a nice elementary to go to. Why can't these children? Buildings get old and this school has been repaired so much it is beyond repairing. Why not have a nice baseball field my son-in-law plus the players and his coaching staff work hard to have that nice field. They do fund rasiers and have obtained grants to get the football, baseball and softball fields where they are today. I am proud of them. Our children played in lot less fields. Progress cost money and we need to realize it. If you speak tax everybody panics. I love our town. Let's do what we have to, to make it great for our children. Gene's grandchild lives in Ashland. I bet if she lived here he'd change his mind if she had to attend this school. I not picking on you Gene but you need to think about what your are doing before you get this petition started. People that don't understand will sign it and you know that.
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+1 #11 Money 2017-03-23 00:52
Why don't the BOE borrow a few million from the Lawrence County Library?
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+3 #10 Dollar 2017-03-22 22:07
Quoting Mom:
I know the elementary schools need work. What I don't understand is how the high school has everything. I see the tennis courts and baseball fields and wonder why we have them while the roof in the elementary schools are leaking. I think the BOE needs to really look at their spending and priorities. They say the have $7 MIL for construction. For heaven's sake, use that money to fix what schools are standing. I don't want anymore taxes unless they figure out how to effectively spend what they have now.
They didn't say they had $7 million. They said they only have the capability of borrowing $7 million as it is right now.
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-7 #9 Citizen 2017-03-22 17:35
As a property owner, I understand the opposition to new taxes. But I think the opposition to this tax is short-sighted. Folks are quick to criticize the school system, but then they throw a fit when they implement a plan to make the system better. This tax is important because it gives the system access to a much larger pool of matching funds. It's like investing in your 401(k)--it's free money, and it would be very unwise not to take advantage of it.

If you don't have a student in the system, you may think this tax doesn't benefit you. But think about it this way: the school system is the largest employer in the county, and it develops our largest resource--manpo wer. Better educated students means better employees and customers for local businesses, which means more money circulating in the community. Is it an effect you will see immediately? No, but if we don't invest in our children's education, we won't get any better. It's not often we have clear opportunities there for the taking. It would be a shame to see this one wasted.

I'd encourage those opposed to this tax to offer an alternative plan for bettering the system. And please don't say "spend the money you've got" because that, at best, only gets our third rate facility back to late 60's standards.
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+8 #8 budget 2017-03-22 01:18
We understand they need a new school. The school board should have planned better and not wasted the money they got from continuously raising our taxes. The people should be able to vote on it if we want this permanent additional tax. To sign the petition try Gene Wilson's office. 638-9601. 101 E. Madison St. #2
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+7 #7 Get right 2017-03-22 00:36
Why wasn't a new school built when we had the $? Also what about Blaine and Fallsburg? These new taxes are a result of years of mismanagement, wait until we're broke to raise taxes, that's stupid as hell.
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+6 #6 Mom 2017-03-22 00:32
I know the elementary schools need work. What I don't understand is how the high school has everything. I see the tennis courts and baseball fields and wonder why we have them while the roof in the elementary schools are leaking. I think the BOE needs to really look at their spending and priorities. They say the have $7 MIL for construction. For heaven's sake, use that money to fix what schools are standing. I don't want anymore taxes unless they figure out how to effectively spend what they have now.
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+7 #5 larry 2017-03-22 00:21
PENNY must not own property. probably works for the school system . where is this petition
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-8 #4 Penny 2017-03-21 21:41
If you all knew the true state of Louisa West Elementary or your children went there, you wouldn't sign the petition. The school is in bad shape but the board is sugar coating everything so as to not alarm parents. Many rooms have leaking ceilings, windows pour when there is blowing rain, sinks don't work half of the time. Thankfully it has been a mild winter because windows, which are aged and drafty, let in whatever elements are outside....rain , wind, frigid or hot air. It's sad that ppl are so greedy that they'd allow students to suffer over such a small fee. I'd gladly pay the extra so my children and grandchildren will have a comfortable place to learn and better their future.
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+8 #3 Sandie 2017-03-21 17:12
Where can we sign this petition?
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+9 #2 Charles Marcum 2017-03-21 01:16
I have been reading the paper and listening to the local news concerning the "nickel tax" imposed by the Lawrence County BOE. I agree to with Attorney Wilson to a degree. I do not believe that taxes on personal property or real property are the only two sources of revenue in the County. Taxes are paid on personal property at the time of purchase and should be exempt from further taxation even though Ky. already has a personal property tax. The quality of life in any county or city is a direct reflection on the tax base. If you pay little in taxes, expect little in the way of services, education, industry, safety and infrastructure. The millage rate in Lawrence County and surrounding counties on both sides of the river are very low in comparison to other parts of the state or other parts of the nation. Income is also very low in the same areas so paying higher millage rates creates a hardship for many of the county residents. For the county quality of life to improve someone has to bite the bullet and pay more taxes. I for one would like to see taxes on things that people can live without or "luxury" taxes be implemented. Things like alcohol, cigarettes, vape cigarettes, and prepared foods such as restaurants could be increased without jeopardizing the lives of those whom can least afford higher taxes. My ideas probably won't sit well with smokers, drinkers and frequent diners like myself but I believe it is the fairest way to increase revenue.
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+9 #1 Lynn 2017-03-21 00:14
Where is the petition so people can sign it?
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