Southern Virginia Voters Sign Off on Money for Schools

By Amie Knowles

November 5, 2020

Voters from Charlotte, Henry, Patrick counties approved a small tax increase

COLLINSVILLE-Funding will soon be on the way for school construction in Charlotte, Henry and Patrick counties. Voters in all three areas approved a slight sales tax hike. That’s set to take effect in the coming year. 

The wording on the ballot for each specifically called for “a general retail sales tax at a rate not to exceed 1% as determined by its governing body.” Money generated from that tax can only be used for “capital projects for the construction or renovation of schools.” 

Basically, now that the vote passed, supervisors in each county will set the increase rate sometime in the coming two months. Now these are not permanent tax increases. Each has an expiration date, which was also included on the ballot. In Henry County, the tax increase will run through July 28, 2040. In Charlotte County, it will run until Aug. 1, 2050 and in Patrick, the rate stays through June 30, 2040. 

Looking to rebuild 

“We are so grateful to the community for supporting the 1% sales tax increase to support school construction. These funds will help us to execute capital improvement projects in a much more timely manner,” said Monica Hatchett, Henry County Public Schools’ director of communications. “For example, large projects such as a school roof replacement can take as long as six to 10 years if done in phases, as we were able to fund them with carry-forward funds. This additional revenue for the sole purpose of projects such as this will help us to get those types of projects done in a much more appropriate timetable and with less cost.”

Hatchett noted that doing a project all at once costs less than paying for pieces over time. That’s because supply and labor costs can change from year to year.

The Southern Virginia school division already had plans on how to spend the extra revenue.

“Projects we have on the horizon include roof replacement at Laurel Park Middle [School] and expanding the cafeteria at GW Carver [Elementary School],” Hatchett said. “Long-term, the funds could also support construction of field houses at our football stadiums as well.”

Officials from Charlotte and Patrick counties didn’t respond to interview requests by presstime. 

Amie Knowles is a staff reporter for Dogwood. You can reach her at [email protected]

  • Amie Knowles

    Amie is Dogwood's community editor. She has been in journalism for several years, winning multiple awards from the Virginia Press Association for news and features content. A lifelong Virginia resident, her work has appeared in the Martinsville Bulletin, Danville Register & Bee and NWNC Magazine.

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