UPDATE: The Board voted 6-1 on a second motion that capped the increase at the allowable 4%, which means there will be no petition and no measure on the 2023 ballot. We won … for now.
Below is the email I sent to the board prior to Tuesday night’s meeting.
Dear JCPS Board Members, Superintendent Pollio and Members of the Media:
I hope this message finds you well and in time for consideration before tonight’s vote.
I am not sure why there seems to have been so much secrecy behind tonight’s rushed public forum and vote on Dr. Pollio’s proposed tax rate increase over the allowable 4%. From where I sit, it doesn’t bode well for transparency and good stewardship of tax dollars.
I wish I had more time to gather my thoughts and double-check my facts, but alas, the meeting starts in less than half an hour, so I must hit send soon if I hope to have any opportunity to prevent our district from making what I foresee to be a grave mistake. Hopefully you are already as concerned about this stealth-like move as I am, but just in case you’re not, I write to ask you to please vote NO on any tax increase over 4% for fiscal period 2023-2024 and provide you with some rationale in the hopes it will change your mind.
In my work as a community leader and organizer with several grassroots organizations in Jefferson County and across Kentucky, you may recall I reached out to warn you that there was no appetite for a tax increase in 2020. The email, dated Sept. 1, 2020, read, in part:
“For nearly six months, Coalition leaders have been trying to warn JCPS decision-makers of the increasing number of grassroots organizations that feel Louisville’s Black and West End voters have zero appetite for a tax increase at this time. We fear district efforts to further advance this agenda without demonstrating a good-faith effort to earn the vote of Black voters and their allies, is likely to backfire, resulting in a failure of this ballot measure.”