Nov. 21 Pre-K sales tax referendum heats up - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Nov. 21 Pre-K sales tax referendum heats up

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

It's becoming just as hot as any political battle. But this isn't for a candidate. It's for the Pre-K sales tax referendum, which will be voted upon Nov. 21.

Memphis Councilman Shea Flinn said there's a lot of misinformation out there -- information on social media and in the news media -- and he says it's wrong. So Councilman Flinn held a news conference a week before the special election to get the word out on what he calls the facts of the Pre-K argument.

The Memphis city council is asking voters to raise the sales tax by a half-cent to pay for Pre-K education. Flinn says that is projected to raise about $47 million. He says that means every single four-year-old who lives in Memphis would be able to attend Pre-K.

MORE: Nov. 21 voter's guide

Eligibility would not depend on income level. He says the money would be managed by the Pre-K Commission, a board appointed by Mayor A C Wharton.

Councilman Flinn said the language on the ballot initiative is so specific, the money must go to fund Pre-K first, and if any money is left over, only then could it be used for other things like lowering the property tax.

"The ballot language guarantees how the money will be spent," Councilman Flinn said. "It guarantees how the remainder of the money will be spent, and if it is not spent in this way, a citizen can sue and win.. Speaking as a citizen, I will sue  and win."

But former school board member Martavius Jones, who also took to social media, said that there is no guarantee future city councils or this council will abide by the language on the ballot.

"This is still a current council that had not honored the $55 million plus that an appellate court has upheld and the supreme court has upheld, so I still have a bit of skepticism," Jones said.

Early voting for this referendum is going on now. Election Day is Thursday, Nov. 21.

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