(Memphis) There are two tax increases on the ballot for people in Memphis this election.
One is a half cent county wide increase that could cut the amount the suburbs get for schools in half, by replacing it.
The other would add a one cent tax per gallon of gas in Memphis.
“Everything’s going up and we’re not making any more money,” said Charlie Golden.
Golden says he’s not OK with any tax increase because taxes are already high enough, “If you tax this tax this and tax this that’s a tragedy.”
He owns a landscaping company and says a proposed one cent per gallon gas tax hike would really put a strain on his business.
The city says it ‘s needed to pay for higher fuel prices and repairs with MATA.
Councilman Harold Collins say the money must come from somewhere and if the gas tax doesn’t pass city council will have to raise property taxes, “We have the highest property tax in the entire state of Tennessee. But more than that the tax is regressive so it is punitive to people who make less money.”
Then there is the Shelby County half cent sales tax vote.
That would raise tens of millions of dollars for education.
Collins thinks people in Memphis will support both to keep property taxes from going up.
The NAACP agrees and thinks voters won’t get ‘tax fatigue’ with two chances to raise taxes.
But the group says it’s more important to approve the sales tax for children.
Mostly people in Memphis will decide on the tax increases because the gas tax is just for the city, and the county sales tax will only be voted on by people in Memphis and people in the unincorporated parts of Shelby county.
Those people in the suburbs won’t get to vote, even though they would have to pay the tax, because they’ve already voted on a sales tax increase to fund municipal schools this year.
According to state law you can only vote on a sales tax increase once a year.