Voters in Lawrence County say no to nickel tax

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Voters in Lawrence County decided against a nickel tax issue on Tuesday.

It was shot down by a vote of 3,244 to 1,796. It would have added an additional five cents per $100 of valuation to property tax bills. For a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000, it would cost an extra $50 a year.

The money raised would have been used to help rebuild Louisa West Elementary School, as well as make upgrades to other schools.

It's a measure the district's board of education approved in February 2017, but because of enough signatures on a petition opposing the tax, it was recalled. The recall meant the only way it can pass is if it gets enough "yes" votes.

"Really what we need people to think of is to vote yes," Superintendent Dr. Robbie Fletcher said earlier this year. "In our opinion, in my opinion, we're voting yes for our students. It is a nickel. It's a nickel on $100. But it is to help our students and have better facilities."

Fletcher says Louisa West has a series of issues and upgrades that need to be addressed. The list is so long, it'd be more efficient to just build a new school. Fletcher says the nickel tax would help double the money for because the state would match the millions of dollars the district would collect.

Other districts in the area already have a nickel tax in place. Ashland, Boyd County, Raceland, Paintsville, Martin County, Floyd County, Johnson County and Carter County all have a nickel tax.

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