'A proud moment for Halifax': Halifax County sales tax referendum passes

Tax will be used to fund school improvements

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va. – Schools in Halifax County need a lot of work.

Most notably, the high school.

An estimated $88 million is needed to repair it.

The alternative is to spend about $100 million to build a brand-new school.

On Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly approved allowing county supervisors to raise the county’s sales tax 1 percent to help fund school improvements.

“I, myself, am confident that this will cover whatever needs the schools need," Halifax County Supervisor Jeff Francisco said.

Francisco said once the newly elected supervisors and members of the school board are sworn in in January, both groups will meet and discuss how to use the money to address the needs and in what order the needs will be addressed.

“I do wish that we do not use the full 1 percent solely for the high school because there are other schools in the county that have needs," said Francisco. 

Halifax County Superintendent Dr. Mark Linenberg said the high school needs to be the top priority, but a close second is the county's elementary schools.

"We have this pot of money, and then in 2027 our debt comes off our other (schools). So it ought to be able to play it out just right for us; fix one and then plan to fix the other," Linenberg pointed out.

He hopes the final decision about how to address the high school will be made by March.

"We shaped the legislation, James Edmunds and others. We took it to the General Assembly last year. We had students and families and so forth advocate and we worked our way through the process, where we had a consensus among a variety of groups in our community. So I think this is just a proud moment for Halifax (County)," Linenberg said.

About the Author: