Disappointment lingers after pre-K sales tax referendum defeated - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Disappointment lingers after pre-K sales tax referendum defeated

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Many voters say the polling precincts were poorly marked Thursday morning. Many voters say the polling precincts were poorly marked Thursday morning.
Jane Miller showed up at the polls because she is prepared to pay more at the store so more children in Memphis can attend pre-K classes. Jane Miller showed up at the polls because she is prepared to pay more at the store so more children in Memphis can attend pre-K classes.
Eighty-nine percent of voters chose "no" to the referendum. Eighty-nine percent of voters chose "no" to the referendum.

(WMC-TV) - The referendum proposing a sales tax increase to fund a pre-K program in Memphis has failed with voters.

Voters hit the polls throughout the city Thursday for a ballot measure that created much debate in the past couple of weeks.

The sales tax referendum would have boosted the sales tax by a half cent generating about $47 million, which would have covered more than 8,000 children age 4 and up.

All sides agreed that effective pre-K serves an important role in benefiting the city's future, but a sticking point for many was the fact that the city-connected commission would oversee the money.

"Democracy is great. I mean, the people have spoken and they've decided the status quo is what they want," said tax proponent and Memphis councilman Jim Strickland.

Eighty-nine percent of voters chose "no" to the referendum.

Election administrator Rich Holden characterizes voter turnout as light with only 1.8 percent of all registered voters casting a ballot during early voting, despite the ballot measure being a hot button issue.

Any proposition to raise taxes usually sparks a strong reaction among voters, but officials are not seeing evidence of that at the polls.

Many voters say the polling precincts were poorly marked Thursday morning.

Jane Miller showed up at the polls because she is prepared to pay more at the store so more children in Memphis can attend pre-K classes.

"I think it will help prevent a lot of crime and poverty ... in the future," said Miller.

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