Last November, voters in Pittsylvania County on the south side of Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District had on their ballot a referendum on whether or not to approve a one percent sales tax increase to fund school improvement projects. The measure failed on a 23-vote margin according to election night results from the State Board of Elections.
This Tuesday, the seven-member Board of Supervisors got an update on a campaign to try hold the referendum again this year, based on enabling authority that passed the General Assembly in 2020. Martha Walker is the chair of Pittsylvanians for a Brighter Future, an advocacy group that seeks passage this time around.
“One cent, one penny, will generate $3.8 million each year for the 19 years that we will be allowed to have that one cent sales tax added,” Walker said.
Under the same enabling authority, Danville voters voted in favor of the referendum and the sales tax increase has gone into effect. Speaking directly to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Walker said her organization will be seeking to educate the public on what improvements would be funded.
“You know that ten elementary schools will be focused on safety and getting rid of those trailers by building those new classrooms,” Walker said.
Charlottesville asked the General Assembly to be allowed to hold a referendum for its school system. Legislation passed the Democrat-controlled Senate, but failed to get out of a committee in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.
There is still no state budget, an issue of increasing concern to school systems throughout the Commonwealth.
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