Jackson County School Board Wants to help Local Teachers


The Jackson County School Board is again pursuing support for a proposed 2 percent tourism tax to pay for teacher supplements.

The board voted unanimously Monday to ask county supervisors to back the hotel/motel tax for benefit of the schools. At an average of 75 percent occupancy of the eight hotels in the district, the board expects to draw about $250,000 per year from the tax. The money will be earmarked with 70 percent going to teacher supplements, 15 percent going to roofing and 15 percent to heating and air.

This is the fourth attempt to pass the tax. The first time it was submitted, supervisors approved but the Legislature said no.

Supervisors twice previously have refused to support the tourism tax. Other areas of the state have tourism tax. In most cases, the proceeds are used for tourism promotion or economic development. ``In the past, we didn't give a definitive statement of where the money was going,'' said school board member Kenny Fountain. Fountain said teachers haven't had an increase in their local supplements in 20 years.

Board member Randal Turner said the tax makes sense because the district can pay the teacher supplement raises without having to tax local people. The tax would mean about a 20-25 percent increase in teacher supplements, Turner said.