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Halifax Council backs push for local option sales tax / January 10, 2019
Halifax Town Council voted Tuesday night to endorse legislation by Del. James Edmunds that would enable Halifax County to hold a voter referendum on a proposed local option sales to raise money for new school facilities.

Convening for the first time in 2019, Council also welcomed new Mayor Dexter Gilliam and presented a resolution of appreciation and gift to outgoing mayor Kristy Johnson.

With the task of organizing for the new year, Council carried over its committee assignments from 2018: Bill Covington will chair the Finance Committee, with Janice Powell also serving as a member; Bill Confroy will chair the Current Affairs Committee, with Jack Dunavant as a member; and Mike Trent will chair the Business Development Committee, with Gail Bosinger as a member.

One action item on the agenda — a revision to the Town Code dealing with weed control on town properties — was tabled for further review.

In endorsing Edmunds’ bill, Council members put themselves on the record in favor of a local supplement to the state’s 5.3 cent sales tax. The School Board and Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg asked Edmunds to carry the bill in the General Assembly which, if successful, would give Halifax County a means to raise revenue for school construction outside of property taxes. Officials estimate that a 1-cent add-on to the sales tax could generate about $3.5 million annually, which would cover more than half of the debt service on a $100 million facility to replace the existing Halifax County High School building. Final approval of the tax would be up to county voters via a local referendum.

The General Assembly “short session” began Wednesday in Richmond.

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