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Greene Co. Commission approves property tax increase | News

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Greene Co. Commission approves property tax increase
News, Politics, Schools
Greene Co. Commission approves property tax increase

After debating for four hours, Greene County Commissioners approved a .20 cent property tax increase.

15 cents will be allocated to the Greene County School system. The other 5 cents will be dispensed between the county's general fund, highway department and solid waste department.

Director of Greene County Schools, Dr. Vicki Kirk, said the tax increase fills the system's $1.2 million budget gap and no cuts will occur. School is set to open August 15.

"My initial reaction was relief, because we had some hard decisions to make if it did not pass," Kirk told 10News. "My second reaction was gratitude. I'm very grateful."

Some of the cuts the school system was considering, if the property tax increase failed, include the closure of Glenwood Elementary School, laying off teachers and reducing athletic programs.

Greene County voters recently voted down a wheel tax that was proposed to help the school system financially.

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The Greene County Commission is holding a public hearing to get input on the 2012-2013 school budget.

Homeowners, teachers and students filled the courtroom and hallway Monday morning.

Greene County Schools is asking the commission to approve a 13-cent property tax increase.

The system's budget currently faces a $1.2 million deficit. The director of schools warns major cuts will be necessary if the tax hike is not approved.

School officials have already delayed the first day of school by one week to Wednesday, Aug. 15 because of the budget woes.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the tax hike at 10 a.m.

Earlier this month, voters struck down a $20 wheel tax proposal that would have helped fund the budget deficit.

Stay tuned to wbir.com and 10News for the latest information on the vote as it becomes available.

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