Tax Increase Remains Possibility For Coffee County Land Owners

Over 100 people attended the Coffee County Commission meeting on Tuesday night.. Photo by Barry West

Over 100 people attended the Coffee County Commission meeting on Tuesday night.. Photo by Barry West

The Coffee County Commission met on Tuesday night for nearly 4 hours. A controversial vote was taken on what is called the 81 Act. If passed all finances in the county would fall under one umbrella. The county school system’s money would be distributed out of the county financial office. One of the main reasons that commissioners were looking at the possibility was anytime the county approves money to be spent by the county school system that money had to be doubled. So if the county system got $1M the Manchester and Tullahoma school systems would split another $1M. Tullahoma receives more based on average daily attendance or ADA. Some in the county school system disagree with this plan because they say it would slow down the process of getting funds they need. They said it could take a month or longer to release funds for needed projects, classroom needs or any other needed purchasing. County commissioners voted in favor of the 81 ACT by a vote of 12-7 with two abstaining. Despite those 12 votes the proposal did not pass because it needed a 2/3 majority vote of 14 commissioners. According information provided to WMSR the proposal can be voted on again since it did not officially fail.
Commissioners are also discussing the county budget for 2014-15. Tuesday night no vote was taken. A possible 32.7-cent increase in property tax remains a possibility and some commissioners would still like to vote on a $50 wheel tax and some say the overall budget needs to be cut more than it has been already. If commissioners vote for a property tax increase here is the breakdown; Coffee County and Manchester property owners would see an increase of $83 per year on a home valued at $100,000 and Tullahoma would go up $82. County land owners based on the $100,000 figure would go up from $743 to $826 per year, Manchester $1,240 to $1,323 and Tullahoma going from $1,220 to $1,303 in property tax per year.
The next chance for a vote on the budget or the 81 ACT again will be at the next Coffee County Commission meeting will be held on June 24.