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Heritage district effort stalls

A potential legal glitch has prompted supporters of a proposed heritage district to withdraw petitions meant to gather signatures to qualify a property tax initiative for November's election.

The recall was spurred by the Camp White Historical Association and Museum's decision to drop out of the Jackson County Heritage Association because of funding issues.

Supporters named the association as a benefactor in a footnote included in the petition. The Camp White Historical Association and Museum has been deleted from the amended petition, said Our Heritage Political Action Committee co-chairman Tam Moore.

"We wanted to avoid any potential legal challenges to the gathering of the signatures," Moore said.

Moore said petitioners have logged around 300 signatures since last week.

"We are going to have to start again," Moore added. "This should only set us back a couple of days. It's a small glitch, but we don't want to run any risk with the signatures."

The new petition should be given the thumbs up today and will begin circulation early next week, Moore said.

The supporters are attempting to collect 16,632 signatures in less than two months. The ballot measure would ask voters to pay 7 cents for every $1,000 in assessed valuation annually to support 14 financially strapped historical societies in the county.

That would add $11.69 annually for a house with an assessed value of $167,000 in Jackson County. Assessed values in Jackson County have been about half the market value in recent years.

Heritage societies in the county have cared for historic buildings and more than 3 million documents, photos and other artifacts.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.