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Muhlenberg Residents File Petition Against Utility Tax for School System
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Muhlenberg residents have filed a petition this week to block a tax the County School Board passed in January to help the school system with its deficit.  

The Muhlenberg County Clerk’s Office received about 3,200 unverified signatures. Only 1,294 verified signatures are needed to get the issue on the November ballot.

County Board of Education Finance Officer Eric Bletzinger says the three percent utility tax would raise an estimated $1.5 million each year, which is needed to help with a more than $5 million deficit.

“The TVA revenues are decreasing and have been decreasing,” he said. “We’ve gone from about $10.2 million to $8.2 million this year to $5.7 next year.”

Bletzinger says that revenue is expected to continue dropping, and has an impact the largest portion of the budget: staffing and salary.

“It’s cut our budget significantly, and I’ve got about 85 percent of my budget goes to staffing and salary,” he said. “And so the reduction in revenue leaves less to run the district on.”

Bletzinger says the school board has already voted on reducing pay for all school district staff 8 percent and that non-tenured teachers will not be able to return next year.


Whitney grew up listening to Car Talk to and from her family’s beach vacation each year, but it wasn’t until a friend introduced her to This American Life that radio really grabbed her attention. She is a recent graduate from Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where she studied journalism. When she’s not at WKMS, you can find her working on her backyard compost pile and garden, getting lost on her bicycle or crocheting one massive blanket.
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