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Ragland talks possible ad valorem tax increase

Ragland High School.jpg

Ragland High School

RAGLAND — Residents from the city of Ragland came together for the second time July 8 to discuss the possibility of a special election later in the year to raise property taxes.

The tax would benefit schools in the Ragland school district.

During the meeting, Ragland Councilwoman Lee Ann Ford said that if the option is placed on the ballot, the city will ask for a 5 millage increase that will allow for a borrowing power of more than $2 million. That money would most likely go towards a gym expansion. However, it is up to the community how the money will end up being spent.

Ragland Principal Jennifer Ball said that because a gym is used for multiple reasons such as tournaments, band concerts along with various ceremonies and events, many people would benefit. She emphasized that as of now, it is difficult even to host tournaments, especially when it floods because of rain.

“With $2 million, we’re trying to think, ‘What does everyone on this campus use?’” Ball said, adding that a new gym would be for more than just sports.

One resident voiced his opposition because his property tax is already raised by the state congress on a yearly basis. However, the general consensus among those in attendance was to put it on the ballot to allow everyone in the community to have a voice in the matter.

For the option to be officially placed on the ballot, residents have to collect 50 signatures on a petition for those who are in favor of the special election.

Board Attorney John Rea said as of Tuesday, the petition has received a number of signatures.

“From what I understand from community members, the petition has been well received and we’re confident they will get the necessary number of signatures,” Rea said.

He added that if all 50 signatures are received, the petition will be presented to the board during its next meeting Tuesday.

Assistant Editor Josie Howell: 205-884-3400