School board proposes increase in property taxes

People in Graves County will have a chance to voice their concerns about a proposed tax increase Tuesday night at a public hearing.

The Graves County Board of Education says after losing state funding about six years ago it’s been a struggle to keep up it’s buildings. 

"People are having a hard time making ends meet," said Graves County property owner Randy Fondaw. 

He says times in the county are hard right now, and news the county board of education is considering raising property taxes wasn’t easy to hear.

"That’s going to affect me a great deal," Fondaw said.

Superintendent Kim Dublin says the schools are facing challenges too.

"To keep the quality of education where we want it is a challenge, however, it’s our top priority," Dublin said.

Dublin says for the past six years schools in the state have been dealing with a decrease in state funding.

"The state is expecting us to do more with less," she said.

She says the board still has to meet certain requirements from the state, like the upkeep of school facilities.

She says if taxes were raised, the money would go toward general education, the maintenance of school buildings and the upkeep of school transportation.

"To produce high quality education, we need this increase to fund unfunded state mandates," Dublin said.

Dublin says she has a decision to make, and a tax increase is the district’s best option.

The public hearing started at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Graves County Board Office. After hearing comments, the superintendent will make a final recommendation, and the meeting will adjourn. Board members will discuss the proposal and take a vote by the end of the night.

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