Hamilton County commissioners will reportedly ask voters to decide on a $60 wheel tax to fund public schools.
This, according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press, which said Hamilton County commissioners will likely review the matter this coming week.
“The resolution, if passed, would put a referendum to establish a wheel tax on the ballot during the March 3, 2020, primary election. The tax would apply to motor vehicles, motorcycles and motor-operated bikes and scooters that are regularly used for transportation on public roads. It would be paid to the county clerk’s office annually,” The Times Free Press reported.
“While no sponsor was listed on the resolution draft obtained by The Times Free Press, multiple commissioners mentioned wheel taxes over the summer as the body grappled with, and ultimately shot down, a property tax rate increase to benefit public schools, District 9 Commissioner Chester Bankston said late Tuesday that District 6 Commissioner David Sharpe had introduced the resolution.”
The paper went to say school system officials would use the extra revenue for salary increases.
“The resolution is on the agenda for this week’s planning meeting, during which drafted resolutions will be discussed and potentially put on the agenda for a vote at next week’s business meeting. If it is approved by the commission during a business meeting, it will then go to the citizens for approval on March 3, as the draft stands,” The Times Free Press reported.
“With the funding of public schools and increase of any tax among the most divisive topics considered by the panel, commissioners on Tuesday seemed torn about the resolution.”
As The Tennessee Star reported earlier this year, many people in Hamilton County believe UnifiEd members orchestrated an unsuccessful attempt to add 350 new positions to the county school system, at a cost of $34 million, and at taxpayer expense. As reported, many of those proposed positions were for social workers and new administrators.
Most school board members voted for the plan, but most county commissioners said no. Going along with the plan might have required raising property taxes.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Hamilton County Commission” by Hamilton County Commission.