Using pens, pencils and index cards, Pike Road voters sought to have their questions about the upcoming property tax referendum answered by town leaders and experts Tuesday night. Hundreds attended the 2011 Education Forum, which was held at Saint James United Methodist Church.
Voters will decide on October 11th whether to raise property taxes by 16 mils. That equates to a $160 per year increase for a home that's worth $100,000. Supporters of the proposal call the increase an investment in the town's future, while opponents say the burden of funding a school system would fall unfairly on taxpayers.
And a panel of town leaders and experts - including economist Dr. Keivan Deravi, Troy Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins and former state schools superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson - answered questions from the audience.
"You find no strong cities or counties without strong public schools," Dr. Richardson said.
"There are some people who are confused about what this will mean economically for the citizens," said Gordon Stone, Mayor of Pike Road. "And I think what Dr. Deravi said tonight, what Dr. Richardson reinforced. That what you invest in this will be brought back to you many times over."
Those in the crowd said the forum provided a lot of information.
'This was a great opportunity for people to make up their mind one way or the other," Madison said. "And I'm real pleased with this information session."
The vote is Tuesday. The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Pike Road Town Hall. The Town has posted comprehensive information about the referendum here.