Memphians divided over tax hike for Pre-K - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Memphians divided over tax hike for Pre-K

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

To tax or not to tax. For the second time in just over a year, that is the question being put before Memphis voters on Thursday.

A half-cent sales tax proposal to fund Pre-K education will again be on the ballot after being shot down in 2012.

There have been so many informal meetings and public debates on the issue, but no real sense of public opinion. Only confusion. Proponents, including several members of the city council and the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, claim that the tax is a "must have" to get school children on the right track and out of the drop-out lines, and even jails.

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They've even promised a potential savings on property tax if the ordinance is passed. But those who oppose the tax say the poor can't bear this burden. That the city can't be trusted to manage the money and that the $47 million which could be raised, isn't really enough to get every Memphis kid in Pre-K as is advertised.

Memphis Pollster Berge Yacoubian doesn't think the votes are there to pass the proposal, but he does think the vote will be much closer this time than the last, because so much money has been spent by supporters of the tax on a recent ad campaign.

Even supporters of the tax have admitted that the property tax reduction would be small.    

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday for this special vote.

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