Graves County votes 'no' to new tax hike

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Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Randall Barnes

UPDATE: The final vote numbers are in, and the new tax measure did not pass. 26% voted in favor of the measure, while 74% voted against it.

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GRAVES COUNTY, KY -- Saving schools or saving money; that's the choice voters in Graves County, Kentucky, are making tonight.

The school board wants to bump propery taxes up by 18.4%. They say the extra money will go towards rebuilding county schools, but the idea isn't sitting well with some. More than 2,000 people signed a petition pledging to vote 'no'.

The poll workers say there was a line at times, but the wait at the South Highland precint was never more than a couple of minutes.

The polling station for city voters in the library, on the other hand, was pretty empty. Workers said they only had 11 votes counted just three hours before the polls close.

County Clerk Barry Kennemore says his office isn't seeing voter numbers anywhere close to what they typically are during a general or presidential election, and that may be because there is just one item on the ballot.

"It's probably hurt a little bit, because there's just one thing on there. There are a lot people interested in it, but at the same time, do they want to go to the polls and vote for it," Kennemore said.

Polls closed at 6:00 p.m. earlier tonight.

Early tallies show 113 people at this precinct voted for the tax levy increase, and 290 people voted against it. That's more than twice the number of people who voted for it.

If the measure passes, the district will allocate funds to rebuild Lowes Elementary School and buy new h-vac systems for the high school and middle school.

If the tax levy is voted down, there will be no new county schools renovations until 2024.

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