People at odds over whether taxes should fund schools - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

People at odds over whether taxes should fund schools

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On the eve of a hotly contested school tax issue, we meet with Joe and Brenda Weis.

The Weises are members of the Committee to Recall the Utilities Tax.

The Fairview School Board first mandated the tax in December. - The tax would fund building upgrades and prevent staff cuts, according to school officials.

The weises and a few peers are fighting hard against it.

"Any way they can find, they tax the people on anything that we do, or anything we get or anything we have," says Mr. Weis.

The Committee to Recall the Utilities Tax was sued by the school district on claims that the petition the group circulated was misleading.

A judge changed the wording on the petition, and the group still gathered enough signatures to put the proposal of a three-percent tax on all utilities to a vote.

The special election will be held on Tuesday.

"there's just so much work that needs to be done to it," says parent, Vanessa Daniels as she looks around the school.

Parents like Daniels are backing Superintendent and Fairview alumnus, Bill Musick, who showed us additions that are already happening.

Musick says maintaining the new additions to the high school will take more money.

"All we've tried to do is educate them (the voters), and tell them, 'You either do it here, with this, or we have to go with your property tax.'"

If the tax passes, someone who pays $500 a month for utilities would pay an extra 15 dollars a month in taxes.

Musick says utility taxes from businesses will account for more than half of the $500,000 per year that the tax would generate.

He says the impact to the average taxpayer would be minimal.

Opponents, like the Weises, who are also Fairview alumni, are taking a stand.

They tell us their property taxes continually increase, and say they want system reform rather than tax bandaids.

"They're coming back, and they want more, and they want more, and they want more, and they want to put it on the backs of people who cannot afford it," says Mrs. Weis.

Like with many special elections for school issues, both sides are holding their breath, because the election could be extremely close.

Turnout is expected to be around 1,000 voters.

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