(WBIR-Maryville) Blount County residents will decide Tuesday if they are willing to pay a wheel tax to help local schools.
In a special election, voters are casting ballots on a proposed wheel tax of $35 for every vehicle and $17.50 per motorcycle.
The money would be used to help the nearly $7 million deficit the school system expects to face next school year.
In total, the tax would raise $2.5 million for Blount County Schools
"I feel like education is an important part of what the city and county and community provide, and we are here to support it," said Mark Curtis, after his vote.
Steve Musick also voted in favor of the wheel tax.
"The county schools, especially, are really in need of the money," he said. "My other thought is, if we don't pass the wheel tax, it's going to show up in one way or another. We're not going to get out of paying it."
Blount County election administrator, Libby Breeding, said about 5,500 people cast their ballots through early voting or absentee. She expected another 5,000 to vote on Tuesday.
She said the low turnout is typical during off-year elections.
"People are on vacation, it's the time of the year. "There's only one item on that ballot, so people don't want to make the effort to come and vote for just one particular question," she said.