In a historically-close election, the Washington Court House City School (WCHCS) District’s attempt to pass a 1 percent earned income tax levy was too close to call at Tuesday’s special election.
According to unofficial results from the Fayette County Board of Elections, 751 individuals voted for the passage of the levy and 748 voted against. There are still a possible 26 absentee ballots and 18 provisional ballots that could be counted in the official total, according to Robin Beekman, chairman of the local board of elections. Any absentee ballots that could still be counted would have to have been postmarked as of Monday, and have 10 days to arrive.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter’s eligibility that must be resolved before the vote can count.
“The election is too close to call,” said Beekman. “I’ve never seen an election this close in Fayette County. We want to thank all of those who came out and voted. I also want to thank our tremendous group of poll workers who handled everything so well during these difficult times. They helped ensure that it was safe to come out and vote. We also have a tremendous staff at the board of elections office who make sure the elections run smoothly.”
Last November, the WCHCS attempt to pass a 1 percent income tax levy for operating funds failed by just 32 votes in the general election. It was unlikely that the next attempt would be even closer, but it proved to be true.
“We thank everyone who did support the school district during this election,” said WCHCS Superintendent Dr. Tom Bailey. “We anxiously await the final results. In the meantime, we will focus on returning to school and educating our kids in a safe and healthy manner.”
The local board of elections will convene Aug. 17 to tabulate the official results of the special election.
Out of 7,646 registered voters in the city, 1,500 cast their ballots for a 19.62 percent voter turnout, according to unofficial results.
If this seven-year, 1 percent earned income tax levy passes, it will generate approximately $1.8 million annually, beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
Residents of the WCHCS district who earn wages, salaries and tips would be taxed.
Income that will not be taxed if the levy passes: retirement income, pensions, property, Social Security, unemployment, disability and survivor benefits, welfare benefits, child support, interests, dividends, and capital gains.
The average citizen in Washington C.H. would pay $1.08 a day.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.