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Are still higher school taxes in Williamson County's future?

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  -- Some Williamson County parents and commissioners are discussing additional tax increases to pay for the rapid growth of the county’s highly regarded school system.

 

Reporter Kerri Bartlett covers education for the Tennessean. She notes that in recent years Williamson County has seen school enrollment grow by roughly 1200 students each year. More than a thousand new students are expected when classes begin August 9.

 

To keep pace, voters last year approved a sales tax increase to fund the construction of new school buildings. That tax is expected to generate about $60 million over three years. 

 

In 2017, a school impact fee was imposed on every new home built in the county. A legal challenge to the fee is still working its way through the courts.

 

Bartlett says earlier this summer County Commissioners also approved a seven-cent property tax increase to fund teacher pay increases.

 

“Despite it being an affluent county, it was one of the lowest paying districts in the area.”

 

Every teacher in the system will get a raise. Starting salaries for new hires will see a $3,000 annual increase. 

 

But Bartlett says still more new taxes may be on the table in the near future. There’s been talk of implementing the adequate facilities tax on new commercial construction.

 

“Parents just recently brought up the adequate facilities tax, and they’re wondering could that be an additional long term solution to funding school buildings.”

 

Would you like toreview Kerri Bartlett’s complete coverageof Williamson County education?