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Halifax County commissioners today approved a request from Weldon City Schools to put on the March 3 ballot a referendum calling for voters to consider increasing the school system’s supplemental tax from the current 20 cents per $100 of valuation to the maximum allowable amount of 50 cents per $100 of valuation.

Board of Elections Director Kristin Scott said before discussion of the matter 5,373 people would be eligible to vote in the referendum.

Those eligible to vote in the referendum would be voters in the Weldon 1 and 2 precincts which is at Halifax Community College; the Weldon 3 precinct at Mystique Multipurpose Venue on Highway 125; some in the Conoconarra precinct at the Tillery Volunteer Fire Department; the Halifax precinct at the ag auditorium at the courthouse complex; the Faucette precinct at the Darlington Volunteer Fire Department; and the Roanoke Rapids 10 precinct at Becker Manor.

County Attorney Glynn Rollins told the board the Weldon supplemental school tax has been set at 20 cents per $100 since the 1940s.

He said the board was required to call for the election.

Scott told the board the cost of the election to the school system is about $2,000 which includes the ballots and advertisement.

According to a letter signed by school board Chairman Hugh Credle and Superintendent Tracy Gary, the Weldon board of education approved the petition requesting the referendum at its August 15 meeting.

The school system said in the petition voters approved the initial supplemental school tax in 1946 and it was not to exceed 20 cents per $100 of valuation “for the purpose of operating schools of a higher standard within the district.”

State statute allows the maximum rate of tax which may be levied is 50 cents per $100.

“ … The district is grateful for the past, present and continued support of its community,” the petition says. “ … Despite its efforts and the support of its community members, the district continues to face economic barriers that lead to academic and social inequities for its students and impact its ability to achieve its vision.”