Petitioners opposed to the recently passed, recallable nickel tax, filed affidavits with the Bell County Clerks office to protest the passage of the tax by the Middlesboro School Board of Education. The petitioners are asking for an election to let citizens decide whether the recallable nickel tax should be levied in Middlesboro or not.
The petitioners must collect registered voter names from 10 percent of the total vote from the last presidential election — 331 names.
The committee petitioning for the election is made up of Crawford Blakeman, Pamela Greene, Linda Yoakum and Mikel Byrne. The committee’s chairperson is Teresa Brown.
Petitioners have forms at area businesses including the John Brown Law Office and Mikel’s Pharmacy. For more information on where to sign the petition, call 606 248-2551.
In order for a signature to be valid, those signing the petition must fill out their name as it appears on the voter registrar.
The Middlesboro Independent Board of Education passed the resolution which would impose the additional $.05 property tax at their regularly scheduled June meeting. The tax was said to be earmarked to benefit the ongoing construction efforts in the district.
The BOE met to vote on the recallable nickel at a special-called meeting on July 3— a time several members of the public claimed to be inconvenient considering the holiday weekend. After hearing from several citizens opposing the tax, the BOE unanimously passed the recallable nickel tax.
According to officials at the Bell County Clerks office the affidavits have been submitted. The next step is to obtain the 331 signatures needed. The petitioners have 45 days from the date the tax passed — to submit the necessary signatures to the clerk. This time frame means the petitioners need to have the signatures turned in by no later than August 17. Additionally, the petitioners have until August 11 to have their question turned in to the clerk.
If the petitioners meet all the deadlines, the question of whether to impose the nickel tax or not will go on the November ballot. In the event the deadlines are not met, a special called election may take place.
The petition to protest the passage of the recallable nickel tax and ask for an election on the issue of whether or not the recallable nickel tax should be levied in Middlesboro reads as follows:
“In order to protest the passage of the Recallable Nickel Tax on 03 July 2015, by the Middlesboro Board of Education, Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky, pursuant to KRS 132.017, and all applicable statutes pertaining thereto, the undersigned, being a resident and registered voter in the City limits of Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky, does hereby Protest the Passage of the Recallable Nickel Tax and ask for an Election on the issue of whether or not the Recallable Nickel Tax should be levied by the Middlesboro Board of Education, Middlesboro, Kentucky.”
“Pursuant to KRS 132.017, and all applicable statutes pertaining thereto, the undersigned constitutionally qualified voter within the Middlesboro School District and the City limits of Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky, hereby protests the passage of the Recallable Nickel Tax and Petitions for an Election on the issue of whether or not the Recallable Nickel Tax should be levied by the Middlesboro Board of Education, Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky.”
Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-9091 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.