Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Nashville Mayor suggests tax hike.

From the Mayor's State of the City address this morning:

"This year the schools completed a comprehensive survey of funding options available for education. They made it clear that they desire more certainty in their funding as well as increased investment. That is why I will recommend that the Metro Council endorse an increase in our local sales tax in the amount of a half cent.

While state law requires only half of these funds be directed to local schools, I will recommend that these funds be directed to two purposes only, and the largest portion be directed permanently to our schools.

This will require a vote of the people of Nashville, which I think will be a very good thing for our city and for our schools. It will give our schools an opportunity to share more broadly what they have accomplished with the investments we have made and it will allow our school system to explain what they can accomplish with future investments.

We all know that the promises and expectations established by the school system and school director three years ago have not been met. That does not mean that we should abandon the 70,000 school students who will end their school year today. But even more certain, we should not abandon those expectations.

This public referendum and the year ahead will give the school board and our director of schools the opportunity to prove to us all that they can and will deliver for our children.

The school board and council can and should decide the date for this referendum, but I think for our schools as well as our children, sooner is better and I hope it can be done in the opening weeks of the coming school year."

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