MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Local leaders say a proposed half cent sales tax would generate $60 million for Shelby County. The plan is for half of that revenue to go to the new Shelby County unified school system.
Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools will merge in 2013, but voters will decide the tax increase during next month's election.
Sylvester Watkins isn't too thrilled about the idea of paying more taxes but if the money is earmarked for children, he's all in when it comes to paying an additional half cent sales tax.
"I support education," he says, "If that's the only way we can get what we need for the schools that's fine."
Andrew Cohen says he doesn't mind paying a little extra at the register to help kids either. "I'm for it. I want every kid in Shelby County to have the best shot at the best education that they can get."
A team of local leaders from Stand for Children, the Shelby County Democratic Party, the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, Latino Memphis and many local clergy gathered in front of the Shelby County School Board to voice their support for the sales tax increase.
Kenya Bradshaw, Executive Director of Stand For Children Tennessee, says the tax increase will generate $31 million in funding for Shelby County Schools.
"We must show them that as a community we value them and we value their education," she says.
Shelby County residents will get a chance to decide whether or not they want to pay that extra half cent sales tax when they vote November 6.