Small crowd voices big concerns over Graves County tax increase


Reporter- Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist- Mason Watkins

Graves County, Ky.- At the first of five special meetings scheduled all across the district, board members heard concerns from a small crowd.

According to the Superintendent Kim Harrison, the meetings are designed to provide answers to county residents' questions concerning the November 12 election. That's when voters will decide if they will endorse or recall the tax levy the board recently set.

Harrison took about 20 minutes at the beginning to explain why the board feels like the increase is in the best interest of both students and residents. She said compared to similar counties, Graves County has the tax rate ranking in the Jackson Purchase Area. She said with the increase, the county will remain in the bottom two. She also pointed out that students have still remained ranked as some of the highest performing in the state.

Then, residents were allowed to submit written questions and students read them out loud.
Most, were lined up with the opposition. Residents wanted to know why the board couldn't manage the budget better in other areas. They asked why a new performing arts center was built before renovations and why the board is always asking for more money from the tax payers.

Harrison told Local 6 that she understands the confusion because most people don't understand how the district money is split up into different funds and that only certain funds can pay for certain things. The performing arts center, for example, was funded out of the general fund because it was a curriculum need. Renovations are funded out of the facilities fund.

The remaining meetings will be held from 6p.m. to 7p.m. Tuesday October 29 will be at Lowes. Monday November 4 at Symsonia, Sedalia Tuesday November 5, and Graves County High School Thursday November 7.