McComb school tax renewed by voters

By MAX FILBY
STAFF WRITER
For the third time since 2004, McComb voters have renewed their school district’s half-percent income tax.
On Tuesday, the issue passed with 373 votes, or 71.6 percent of the vote, in favor, to 148 votes against it. In Hancock County, the tax was approved by a vote of 329 to 91. In Wood County, the tax was defeated by a vote of 44 for and 57 against.
The tax brings in about $365,000 a year and made up about 5 percent of the district’s revenue for fiscal year 2013, said Superintendent Meri Skilliter. The tax pays for operational costs at McComb schools such as bus fuel, teacher salaries and supplies.
“It’s not new money; it’s what they’ve already been paying,” Skilliter said.
Despite a $600,000 decrease in state funding since the 2011-12 school year, the school board decided to keep the percentage the same for the income tax.
McComb has had to “tighten spending” while also making staff cuts as state funding fell and enrollment has slightly declined, Skilliter said. The district closed one of its buildings in 2012, consolidating to one building.
“We’ve really tried to do more with less,” Skilliter said.
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