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Kingsport considers tax increase to pay for students’ laptops

December 22nd, 2013 9:39 pm by Matthew Lane

Kingsport  considers  tax  increase to pay  for students’ laptops

KINGSPORT — Does the Model City’s property tax rate need to be raised by five cents to ensure each student in Kingsport City Schools, from the fourth grade up, has access to a laptop computer? 

 That’s the question the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and KCS officials discussed last week,  and the answer very well could be “yes.” 

 Earlier this month,  four purchase requests from the school system came before the BMA for approval. The requests totaled roughly $922,000, with the bulk of the money going toward  more than 1,000 laptops for students. The remaining $122,000 was for 40 laptops for administrators and 87 wireless access points.

 During a work session three weeks ago, the BMA had some questions about the purchases, with Mayor Dennis Phillips voicing his opposition to where the funds would come from.  Nearly half of the money to be used for the purchases was coming from a recent bond issuance,  and Phillips said he was opposed to issuing 20 year bonds to purchase technology that would need to be replaced in five years.

 At that time, the BMA asked city and school officials to meet and come up with a better funding plan.

 That meeting has since taken place,  and now a new funding source has been determined.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Monday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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