Jackson County Residents Set to Vote on Sales Tax

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MARIANNA Jackson School District Officials are asking voters to renew a half cent sales tax for school facilities.
The original tax is about to expire and supporters say losing the revenue will hurt Jackson County Schools.
For almost twenty years, Jackson County students have enjoyed the benefits of a half-cent sales tax to renovate and improve school facilities.
The school district is currently in the process of an ambitious retrofit for digital technology.
"We are making the move in our county toward digital instruction, said Deputy Superintendent, Cheryl McDaniel. “And it is costly thinking about implementing buying a device for every student."
Since its inception in 1995, Jackson District Schools has received around 32 million dollars from the sales tax.
"Right here at riverside we have a new multipurpose building, a new gym that we use for a lot of functions,” explained Riverside Elementary Teacher, Dave Galloway. “So now the kids can have P.E., even in inclement weather."
But school officials say they need to do a lot more work.
They’re asking voters to renew the sales tax for another ten years.
"We feel that it's a fair tax. It's a tax that keeps us from having to impose the high property tax. It's a fair tax that everybody pays," said Superintendent Steve Benton.
He also said the majority of the tax is also paid by travelers who stop through the county.
"Actually only 30 percent of Jackson County people pay it,” Benton explained. “People from, coming in on the interstate, people coming down 231, they’re the ones who, the majority of it who pays the taxes for us."
And unlike the sales tax, the property tax will only impact property owners.
The is a mail-in election.
School officials say they were worried in issue would get lost on the November general election ballot.
Voters must mail-in their ballots by May 6th for their votes to count.