Packed house debate proposed Roane Co. Schools tax hike

KINGSTON, Tenn. (WVLT) - Overflowing crowds filled the Roane Co. Commission's meeting on Monday night. The packed house couldn't even fit into the room where commissioners normally met and the crowd had to be divided into two rooms.

Nearly everyone was there to talk about the proposed $0.14 cent tax hike, meant to prevent the closing of Midway High School. The board has argued that after the state cut funding for rural schools, it doesn't have enough income to pay for its budget.

The impact on children who don't have support will be tremendous and will affect the county in the long term," said Donna Smith.

Others maintain that the board has plenty of money and is simply living above its means. "They lost almost 600 students they don't have enough students to justify that large of a tax increase," said resident Summer Hammock.

School board officials said they could skip buying new textbooks or cut sports activities.

The final decision is expected to come on July 8th and what cuts are made is ultimately up to the school board.

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