Chesterfield parents push petition asking supervisors not to lower property taxes

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Some parents in Chesterfield County are pushing a petition to keep supervisors from lowering property taxes. The petition has already gotten hundreds of signatures.

Supporters say if the county lowers taxes, it will endanger funding for the school system and could to lead to the loss of a lot of good teachers.

“I moved here from Boise, Idaho in 2009 and I moved to Chesterfield because of the schools,” parent Jenefer Hughes told 8News Reporter Mark Tenia.

Hughes says she’s concerned county supervisors will lower Chesterfield’s tax rate one cent. She says while it may save homeowners a few dollars, it would cost the county millions and most likely impact funding for schools.

It’s an issue Chesterfield teachers protested weeks ago as they have pushed for a solution to the school system’s underfunded retirement plan.

“I feel we’re at risk of losing teachers and we’re at risk of losing our best teachers,” said Hughes.

It’s why Hughes has started a petition that has nearly 300 signatures so far. She says they’ve also gotten dozens of postcards urging supervisors to pass a budget that does not include lowering property taxes.

“Teaching is a calling for certain but it’s not one where you have to take a vow of poverty so we want to make sure that our teachers are well paid, we want to make sure that they’re retirement is paid for as well,” said parent Ben Pearson-Nelson.

Pearson-Nelson is the president-elect of Robious Elementary School’s PTA. He says he’s not only concerned about losing current teachers. He’s also worried about losing recruits to neighboring counties.

“When you’re looking at those two schools, if you’re a teacher you’re saying do I go to Henrico where they’re clearly strongly supporting their schools or do I go to Chesterfield where it’s a little more iffy,” said Pearson-Nelson.

We reached out to every supervisor for a response to the petition. We only heard back from the vice chair who told us she was out of town. We have yet to hear back from any other supervisor.

If you’d like to check out the petition click here.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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