Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles says he will veto any property tax increase county commissioners send to his desk.
County commissioners are currently debating whether to raise property taxes by as much as 45 cents — or $120 per $100,000 in the value of a home.
“That’s crazy,” Ogles told The Tennessee Star Tuesday.
Maury County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state, if not the country, because of people moving south, out of Nashville. Some people say this new tax revenue is needed to help pay for all the new growth.
Instead of higher property taxes, Ogles said he and other local officials thought up an alternative solution to bring in more revenue.
“We agreed as county mayor and city mayors to a sales tax referendum to help fund building projects for the schools,” Ogles said.
“If you want new schools then we can raise the sales tax a half a penny to make it equivalent to Williamson County and, I presume, Rutherford County. That’ll be during the March presidential primary. The people will decide.”
Ogles also told The Star he’s working with state officials so Maury County can eventually impose impact fees on new construction — as another revenue source. He said the state’s 2006 County Powers Act restricts his county’s ability to implement impact fees. Under the law, counties that had impact fees prior to 2006 may still use them, Ogles said.
“We are growing just as fast as Williamson County and Rutherford County, and, yet, I have neither the population of Rutherford County nor the income of Williamson County and yet we’re building the same things at the same rate,” Ogles said.
Right now, it takes 12 of the 22 county commissioners to override any Ogles’ veto.
County Commissioner Craig Harris said he and his colleagues must finalize a budget by next month, otherwise the county will revert to the last fiscal year budget. Last year’s fiscal budget would not fund two new public schools that are already underway, Harris said.
Maury County School Board member Bettye Kinser, meanwhile, told The Star that school board members want a property tax increase to help increase teacher pay.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Andy Ogles” by Andy Ogles. Background Photo “Maury County Courthouse” by Brent Moore. CC BY 2.0.