MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon school board on Friday voted to place an operating levy on the November ballot. Revenue generated by the emergency 4.72-mill property tax levy will be used for the day-to-day operation of the district. Knox County Auditor Jonette Curry said the levy would increase the taxes on a $100,000 by $149 a year.
Board member Steve Thompson said he is not comfortable with having to ask the voters for more money, but doesn’t feel there is any choice.
“My heart is for the kids of the district,” he added. “I applaud what has been done to reduce costs. It is important to keep going aggressively now and continue cost containment measures.”
“We have been very frugal,” added board president Margie Bennett. “Teachers have taken pay cuts and are paying more for insurance, we’ve cut high school busing. We do need this money. If the state had fulfilled its obligations and done its part in maintaining funding, we wouldn’t need this levy.”
Bennett said passage of the levy means the board would not have to make additional cuts and the money can be used to restore some programs and services such as high school busing.
Superintendent Steve Short said additional specific information about the levy and what it means to the district will be available in September. “The community will know exactly what they’re voting on,” he said.