Debate continues on Graves Co. tax levy

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Miltimedia Journalist - Julie Collins

GRAVES COUNTY, KY -- The debate continues between supporters and opponents of a proposed tax levy for schools in Graves County, Kentucky.

The Graves County School Board approved the levy last month that will increase property taxes by 18.4%.

It now goes to the voters. One side says the money will help rebuild, reinvent, and reenergize the Graves County school system at the community. However, some say the money should come from somewhere else.

In just twelve hours, locked boxes filled with ballots and voter booths will be opened and people like William Bell will cast their vote. He is against the proposed 18.4% tax increase.

"Being a farmer, we got a tax increase in April of this year. And this 18.4 is on top of that increase, so yes, it's much more than 4 dollars a month to a lot of people," Bell said.

But substitute teacher and mother of two Graves County students, Kellie Wilferd, says the money is desperately needed to rebuild Lowes Elementary and get h-vac systems for the high school and middle school.

"What people have to understand is that for our community and our schools to keep up, we need a little more invest on the part of the tax payers. Not a lot," she argued.

Bell says they have invested and are concerned the money isn't being properly spent. "In 1981, the county passed a utility tax that was supposed to be for the up keep and maintenence of existing buildings," Bell said.  "We just want to know what's happened to all that money in the past 32 years."

So he and the cititzens against the tax increase started this petition and gained 2,000 signatures. Kellie says voting no will put the Graves County system at a standstill for years.

"If this tax money fails, there will be no new renovations or construction until 2024 for our school system."

Now oth sides sit and wait for those boxs to be opened.

The average tax payer will pay close to an additional $58 dollars a year for every $100,000 dollars property tax valuation.

The county clerk reminds everyone to go to their normal polling places. Those inside the city limits will vote at the Graves County Library.

Polls will open at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

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