On Tuesday, Wayne County voters rejected a 1/4 cent Sales Tax Referendum which was placed on the ballot for the Primary Election. Had the referendum passed, one hundred percent of the ¼ cent sales tax funds would have been used to complete $32 million in new public school construction, campus updates, and safety and security upgrades.
Wayne County Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Michael Dunsmore said, “While I am appreciative of every single voter who took the time to vote in the March 3 primary election, as superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools, I am very disappointed that the quarter cent sales tax referendum failed. Our school district has dire facility needs that have to be addressed. Unfortunately, the Board of Education does not generate funds and is completely dependent on the Board of Commissioners and local support in order to complete these necessary projects. Without an infusion of new funds, I am uncertain what options the Board of Education has to be able to address the growing issues of aging school buildings, add dozens of new elementary classrooms to remain in compliance with the State’s K-3 class size mandate, and make our campuses safer through necessary safety and security upgrades.”
“In considering the final outcome at the polls, I will not speculate on why this referendum failed. I sincerely believe voters were informed about the school projects and why the referendum was on the ballot. I am proud of the awareness efforts that were made by the school district and County of Wayne since January. Ultimately, we received the unified support of every single municipal Board, along with several local organizations across our county, which all passed resolutions in support of these school projects and the sales tax referendum. Over 10,700 voters also turned out in support of this referendum.”
“While the quarter cent sales tax did not pass, I remain optimistic that the citizens of Wayne County support our schools and will welcome other potential options for addressing our facility needs. It is my hope that the leaders of Wayne County can continue working together in the future to determine how best to address the school district’s facility needs and build local support in their efforts.”