Those opposed to half-cent sales tax hike explain why - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Those opposed to half-cent sales tax hike explain why

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Shelby County Commissioners Chris Thomas and Dr. Kenneth Whalum, Jr. explained why they are opposed to countywide tax hike Shelby County Commissioners Chris Thomas and Dr. Kenneth Whalum, Jr. explained why they are opposed to countywide tax hike
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) – A half dozen local leaders held a news conference Tuesday evening to oppose the proposed half-cent sales tax hike for education.

Now, the Shelby County School Board will vote whether or not to support it.

Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas joined School Board Commissioner Dr. Kenneth Whalum, Jr. outside the school board meeting to say supporters of the tax hike are misleading the public about where the money will go.

Supporters say the money will go to pre-k.

The group held flyers mailed out by the non-profit group "Stand for Children", which wants voters to say ‘yes' to the tax hike.

The commissioners said they could not outspend "Stand for Children", so they held the news conference.

Thomas explained why he voted for a Shelby County tax hike and is against a countywide sales tax.

"They were told we need this half-cent sales tax increase to fund our new school system. So they knew that's what was gonna happen. In unincorporated, they're being told its going to pre-k. That's not the truth," said Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas.

"If I vote to earmark funds for pre-k, and I'm not obligated to do it, when it's time to close schools, lay off custodians, I won't have the money to keep those schools open. Why? Because we earmarked it for pre-k," explained Shelby County Commissioner Dr. Kenneth Whalum, Jr.

The sales tax question is on the ballot with early voting already underway.

Election Day is November 6 and we will be watching the vote closely.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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