By Anthony Cloud firstname.lastname@example.org
January 23, 2014
Bell County citizen Gary Smith brought several issues before the Bell County School Board regarding the “recallable nickel.” He made requests for different items to be placed on next month’s agenda during the meeting Tuesday.
In a written letter, Smith pointed out that the board of education passed a 5 cents tax per $100 valuation of property in Bell County, also known as the “recallable nickel” tax.
He claimed that the most recent tax bill showed the tax actually to be 5.6 cents per $100 in 2013.
Smith also had questions regarding the amount of money collected and spent from the “recallable nickel.”
“Last April 30, the board attorney, upon instruction from the board of education, said in a letter that the tax was to have yielded $321,883 by June 30,” said Smith in his letter. “Further, that same letter said there ‘are no documents to produce that are responsive’ to my open records request to learn how much money had been collected and spent from the ‘recallable nickel’ tax.”
Smith claimed the letter said there had been no money obligated from the funds, and there have been no expenditures from the funds.
Smith requested the board disclose publicly how and why the “recallable nickel” tax was computed to be 5.6 cents per $100 valuation during the next board meeting.
He also requested the board to disclose how much money to date has been collected from the “recallable nickel” since its passage and how much has been obligated from those funds and how much, if any, has been spent.
Another request Smith announced was for the board to offer a first reading to make a change in policies and procedures making the “recallable nickel” tax a separate line item on the local property tax bills so the public can know exactly how much they are paying toward the tax.
Smith requested the board instruct the finance officer to create separate line items in the financial records to reflect the specific collections and expenditures from the tax, if the records don’t already keep such records.
Copies of the letter were given to the board.
No action was passed regarding the requests of Smith.
Anthony Cloud can be reached at 606-248-1010, ext. 1125, or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.