Party held promoting tax increase for Pre-K - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Party held promoting tax increase for Pre-K

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(WMC-TV) - A push for Pre-K funding is happening in Memphis in the form of a party. But not everyone thinks a proposed tax hike is worth celebrating.

"Professionals rally for Pre-K." That is what this event was called at Minglewood Hall.

And while the campaign to pass a Pre-K tax is, perhaps, the most active, there is always another side.

The Pre-K tax proposal party was organized by people in favor of a half cent sales tax hike.

"This is critical for our community and certainly the young people who will benefit," said organizer Ron Redwing.

If approved, the city would administer some $30 million to educate more than 4,300 4-year-olds currently left out of the system.

Under the plan pushed by the mayor and approved by the city council, any left over money would be used to rollback the property tax rate.

"Either Mayor A C Wharton is stuck on stupid or the citizens of Memphis are stuck on stupid, but I don't think their pocketbooks or wallets are ready for a half cent sales tax," said Hubon "Dutch" Sandridge, former school board member.

Sandridge is among those not sold on the tax hike.

"We have a Shelby County school system, a school board, a superintendent," he said. "They have a billion dollar budget. It's for them to work out."

Proponents point to data suggesting Pre-K's impact on incarceration and drop out rates as reasons to vote 'yes.'

"I feel like for the cause, that's a small investment for a big outcome," said supporter Ryan Carter.

Early voting for the Pre-K measure runs through November 16. Election Day is November 21.

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