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Board of Education delays vote on sales tax increase

Members of the Washington County Board of Education were unanimous in their decision to postpone the vote on the quarter cent sales tax resolution until their October meeting.
Phillip McLain gave a verbal report on the Aug. 9 meeting with the Johnson City School Board members, and the pros and cons discussed regarding a sales tax increase.
He also read a resolution prepared by County Attorney John Rambo requesting a sales and use tax referendum. If passed, the local sales tax would increase from 2.5 percent to 2.75 percent.
McLain said Johnson City is using the same resolution and school board members will vote on it during their Sept. 6 meeting.
Bill Brinkley said he wanted to ensure the full quarter cent would go to the schools, and not the general funds of the city and county.
“I think the wording (in the resolution) should be more specific and say to schools only,” he said.
Director of Schools Ron Dykes said Johnson City, Jonesborough and Washington County must agree the full quarter cent goes to education before the vote gets to the ballot.
Dykes said Commissioner Lee Chase asked for the resolution and the plan to gain community support be presented to the county’s Education Committee before it goes to the full commission.
“I don’t think we’re getting any support except from the other school board,” Chad Williams said.
Williams made a motion, seconded by Keith Ervin, for Dykes to speak with Rambo about adding an “earmark statement” to the resolution specifying the full increase would be designated for education.
David Hammond made a motion to postpone the vote until the October meeting when the revised resolution would be available for review. Todd Ganger seconded.
Both motions passed unanimously.
In other business, Clarence Mabe was elected chairman of the board for the 2011-12 school year. Williams was elected vice chair, and Dykes was elected secretary.
Other elected officers are Carolyn Bryant, clerk of the board; Mary Lo Silvers, parliamentarian; Hammond, Tennessee Legislative Network representative; and Jack Leonard, Federal Relations Network Representative.