The Salem Grade School Board, on a 4-3 vote, has rejected putting a penny sales tax increase on the ballot to benefit the infrastructure needs of the schools.
The no votes came from Board Chair Michelle Barbee, along with Brad Crow, Kerri Richards and Patty Squibb.
Barbee feels the effort to get the issue on the April non-partisan election ballot is rushed and the school boards owe the public a more detailed explanation of the benefits of the increased sales tax.
The tax could provide the Salem Grade School District $400,000 a year towards infrastructure improvements. Barbee notes while the school board could use the money to keep property taxes down, there is no guarantee what will happen in the future and there is no sunset provision on the sales tax.
The board members voting no also cited negative comments they have heard from the public about additional an additional tax.
The Salem Grade School Board was the first to take a vote on placing the referendum on the ballot. School districts representing more than 50-percent of the students in Marion County have to approve placing the issue on the ballot for the measure to go forward.
The Salem Grade School Board was the first to take a vote on placing the referendum on the April non-partisan election ballot. School districts representing more than 50-percent of the students in Marion County have to approve placing the issue on the ballot for the measure to go forward.
The Salem Grade School Board also learned they are now owed $262,851 from the state for Special Education Services, Special Education Personnel, Transportation for Regular and Special Education students. Superintendent Leslie Foppe says the release of money for the categorical funds is based on availability of money to the comptroller and they are not receiving payments due to lack of available money.
Foppe reported the district is still receiving its regular State Aide Payments on time.