Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Wheel tax hike vote set Thursday

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Voters are set to go to the polls on Thursday to cast a ballot in a referendum on whether to increase the county wheel tax by $25 to fund a new Lebanon High School and to purchase property for a new Watertown High School.

Early voting in the referendum ended Saturday, Sept. 26. Lynn Harris, administrator of elections for the Wilson County Election Commission, said a total of 3,592 persons voted early.

“Not very good at all,” she said, referring to the low turnout. Early voting began Sept. 11. Voters could cast ballots at the Election Commission office in Lebanon, the Mt. Juliet Community Center and the Watertown Community Center.

The turnout during early voting was about 5 percent of the number of registered voters which is 67,060.

The referendum, if approved, would double the wheel tax by $25, making it $50. The additional funds would be used to construct a new LHS and to purchase property for a new WHS to be built at a later date.

According to the referendum, the additional $25 would come off the wheel tax once the debt is retired on the construction and land purchase, returning it to its original $25.

Harris said she encourages all registered voters to come out Thursday and vote. All 36 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

“I wish they would get out and vote,” she said. “I encourage everybody to go vote. It’s their money paying for the election and they need to participate.”

The estimated cost to hold the election is about $100,000.

Whether to increase the wheel tax is a decision that affects those who own vehicles in Wilson County and those who want a new LHS and those who do not.

“Go vote,” Harris said.

Bring some form of identification with you when you go to the polls tomorrow such as your voter registration card or driver’s license. For more information, call the Election Commission office at 444-0216.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at

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