Cannon County Commission passed appropriations and set a 2.68 tax rate for for 2015-16 during a special meeting Monday (Aug. 31).
The appropriations resolution passed 6 to 4. Voting in favor of the resolution were Commissioners Mark Barker, Todd Hollandsworth, James Holloway, Glenn Steakley, Richie Hunter and Adam Melton.
Voting against the measure were Commissioners Russell Reed, Karen Ashford, Jim Bush and Brent Bush.
The tax rate was approved by an identical 6 to 4 vote. Commissioner Barker moved for acceptance. His motion was seconded by Adam Melton.
Glenn Steakley, a member of the commission's budget committee, explained the need for a tax increase.
"While a member of the Cannon County Audit Committee, I began observing the financial woes of our county beginning in 2011. I watched as your county's General Fund was drained from $1.34 million in 2009 to a mere $106,000 at the end of the 2014/15 fiscal year, ending on June 30th," Steakley said.
That represented a 90+% reduction in the General Fund, he explained.
"The hole that has been dug is deep. But, all is not lost. This term has been quite challenging for this commission. I am confident that, with this new group of commissioners, we can get our financial deficiencies back on track," Steakley said.
"This proposed budget is the result of searching every avenue of cost savings and revenue distribution. I am of the belief that property tax is the most unfair tax that can be levied on a citizen," he continued.
The Budget Committee apparently felt the same and they agreed to first seek revenues from other areas before supplementing with a property tax including a wheel tax increase, he said.
See the Sept. 8 edition of The Cannon Courier for complete coverage of the issue.