Lexington, SC (WLTX) - Voters living in the Lexington One School District will soon vote on a $365 million bond referendum in the November 6th election.
The school board voted in August for a five-year plan to update safety & security in all district schools and facilities, replace three older schools, build two elementary schools, renovate all schools, build a new transportation facility and improve technology in classrooms.
If approved, the money will be collected from taxes. This is all geared to the growth of the district. According to a website geared to educate voters on the plan, since 1988 there's been a 514 student increase each year.
"The district and the leadership have done a tremendous job of managing the growth over the years, but it comes a point when you have to do something big and address it and this is it," says Vaughan Dozier. He's been pushing for the referendum.
However, residents will see an increase in taxes. A homeowner living in the Lexington One district with a property value of $100,000 will see a $56 tax increase per year.
Business owners with a $100,000 property value could see a $84 tax increase.
"Every time there's any kind of need the instant knee jerk reaction of our leaders is well, we'll raise taxes," says Rich Bolen, Lexington Attorney. "I'm frustrated with that attitude and I think that they get hundreds of millions of dollars a year to operate the school system and the rates on a lot of businesses are outrageous."
"Nobody likes to pay taxes," says Dozier. "I certainly don't, but taxes are there for a reason and when it comes to public education, to me that's one of the best uses of our tax dollars."
The last bond approved by Lexington One voters was in 2008 for $336 million. That money was used to build five schools and renovate 15 others.