Citizens Vote on a Tax Increase That Would Give More Money to the Petrolia ISD

On Monday voters took to the polls to decide whether they support a tax increase that would give more money to the Petrolia Independent School District.

Residents in the city of Petrolia, Dean, Charlie, and Thornberry all voted in an election to ratify school taxes. It calls for a 13-cent increase. 
Newschannel 6 crews hit the streets of Petrolia and spoke with residents who had mixed feelings about the issue.

Residents say do not understand why Petrolia ISD officials are asking for more money. They say they do support their school system, but before they give any more money  they need to know exactly where the money is going.

It is not the first time residents have voted to ratify school taxes for Petrolia ISD. This will be the fourth consecutive year the district has tried to get it passed and all four times it has failed. Residents like Estea Fielding were never for it since day one. Estea Fielding says, "I voted against it every time because I'm against the waste. If they would start using their money like they should use it and run it like a house hold budget, then I would be for it." Estea Fielding, a retired resident living off a fixed income says she does not want to give her money away.

If the tax increase was voted in all property owners living in Petrolia, Dean, Charlie, and Thronberry will see the hike of 13-cents. With the hike the total would have been a $1.38 per $100 of property value. Something Phillip Armstrong says he is totally against.

Philip Armstrong also comments, "Wages is slow right now. We can't afford it. It doesn't really sound like a whole lot 13 cents, but when you take it away from $400 that is a lot of money." Phillip Armstrong says he does not have kids that attend Petrolia ISD, but with the way the economy is going right now he just cannot afford it. He says, "The drought really put a hurt on everybody. I'm not a farmer but I help a man that does farming and it has really put a hurt on everything. We have a big crisis and people don't realize it."

Although Linda Coates is not a property owner, but a parent of Petrolia ISD she wants more details. Linda feels the community would have voted for the change if they knew where the money was going.

Newschannel 6 called the Petrolia superintendent to ask exactly what the money would go towards and was told he was out of the office. His secretary did say the extra money will help out a lot due to state funding cuts.

The proposal was voted down 206 to 169.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6