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Proposed use of Gloucester’s new sales tax draws criticism

The proposed use of revenue from Gloucester’s new sales tax has drawn criticism from members of the school board, residents and state lawmakers.

In the draft budget put forth by County Administrator Brent Fedors, a portion of the revenue realized by the additional 1 cent to the county sales tax levy would be used to pay off debt for eligible completed and current projects, as well as future eligible debt.

The sales tax increase was approved by Gloucester residents via referendum last November, with the money to be used to fund new construction and major renovations for the county’s schools.

During a joint supervisors/schoolboard meeting on March 16, members of the school board made their disappointment in Fedors’ suggestion known. According to Fedors’ presentation, the sales tax increase is estimated to bring in about $5 million in the first year of use, $3.4 million of which he proposed be used to pay for completed and current projects.

Several school board members said t...

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