Commission puts hold on wheel tax vote
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Courier Editor

After considerable discussion, the Cannon County Commission "passed" on approving a resolution to levy an additional countywide wheel tax.

The panel had expected to vote on the tax hike on second reading Thursday (Sept. 3) but the action was delayed in an effort to save tax dollars.

"The rule says you have to vote (on the wheel tax increase) at two consecutive meetings," said County Executive Mike Gannon.

If the tax increase passes, the public has the right to call for a special election within 75 days. All that it would take is 277 signatures on a petition to have a special election, Gannon said.

Holding a special election would cost the county at least $15,000 to $20,000.

Gannon predicted that Cannon County citizens would want to vote on the issue.

"The cleanest way, in my opinion, is to let the people vote on it," Gannon said, "It's your call. I would go ahead and put it on the ballot."

Commissioner Mark Barker suggested, "If we wait (on the vote) there's time to educate the public."

The main thrust behind the proposed wheel tax increase is that a wheel tax hike is fairer than piling on more property tax. Not all Cannon Countians own property, but most do own an automobile.

"We need time to talk to people in our district" and explain the difference in the two kinds of taxes, Barker said.

"The people in my district want to vote on it," said Commissioner Jim Bush, who then moved for an immediate vote on the wheel tax resolution.

"You are flipping a coin that could cost the taxpayers $20,000," said Commissioner Russell Reed.

Bush's motion died for the lack of a second.

Commissioners did unanimously approve a resolution to create a jail capital projects fund. The funds, coming solely from the sale of e-cigarettes at the jail, will be used for planning purposes. Commissioner Glenn Steakley moved for approval and Russell Reed seconded.

In other action, the Commission voted unanimously to appoint Greg Goff to the Industrial Development Board to fill a seat being vacated by Burton Mason.


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