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Deadline to submit petition opposing school tax on March 5

Any petition opposing a proposed 5.5 cent facilities tax to build a new high school would need the signatures of 1,400 registered and qualified Woodford County voters in order for voters to have a vote on the tax issue in a general or special election, according to Woodford County Clerk Sandy Jones.

The 45-day window to submit a petition opposing the tax started a day after the Woodford County Board of Education unanimously approved a 5.5 cent facilities tax on Jan. 18. The deadline for submitting a petition opposing the facilities tax would have to be received by the county clerk on Monday, March 5, Jones said. She would then have 30 days to make a determination of whether or not the petition has enough signatures of qualified voters to place the issue of a proposed tax increase before the voters, Jones said. A circuit judge will make a final determination within 10 days, she added.

Jones said two citizens have come to her office for some information about starting a petition to oppose the tax, but no one has submitted an affidavit in order to begin circulating a petition opposing the proposed facilities tax.

Five qualified voters, who make up a petition committee, will need to submit an affidavit with their names and addresses to the county clerk before circulating a petition, according to Jones. The committee will then need to turn in a petition with at least 10 percent (or 1,400 signatures) of registered and qualified voters in Woodford County, who voted in the presidential election, by the March 5 deadline, she said.

The proposed $46 million high school would be built on land adjacent to Woodford County Middle School along Falling Springs Boulevard.

The proposed facilities tax would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 an additional $55 a year in school taxes and the owner of a $200,000 home an additional $110 annually, schools Superintendent Scott Hawkins said.

After hearing opposition about building a new football stadium, and softball and baseball fields when those athletic facilities already exist at the Woodford County Park, the board agreed to not construct those facilities as a part of the high school project, and voted to lower the facilities tax from 6 to 5.5 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

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