Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hardin County Voters reject lower sales tax

Hardin County voters overwhelmingly rejected a lower sales tax in yesterday's vote. Congrats to the petitioners who made the vote possible and congrats to the Hardin County voters who turned out to make a very clear statement. I would have voted for a lower sales tax had I lived in Hardin County but the most important point is that taxpayers were able to express their will at the ballot box.

Dec. 1– Twenty-one percent of Hardin County’s 16,108 registered voters turned out for today's referendum deciding one of the most controversial local issues in years.

By a vote of 804 to 2,553, the election determined the local option sales tax will remain unchanged at 2.5 percent.

Concerned Citizens For Community Schools, a grassroots group opposed to the current school consolidation project, forced the county-wide referendum by obtaining some 3,000 signatures on a petition calling for a special election on the sales tax rate.

The organization argued the Hardin County Board of Education and county commission broke their word when officials decided earlier this year to scrap a 1997 long-range school renovation and construction plan that did not involve consolidation.

Voters in 1997 overwhelmingly approved a one cent increase in the local option sales tax rate based on that plan and would not have done so at the time if they thought community schools would be shuttered, Concerned Citizens contended.