Sales tax referendum on ballot
KEITH READY, Courier Contributor
Patrons in Cannon County could be paying a higher sales tax if such a referendum passes during the upcoming November election.
Cannon County Commissioners approved putting a sales tax increase of one percent as a referendum on the November election ballot during its regular meeting Sept. 11.
The sales tax, if passed, would be 9.75 percent, which is the same tax charged in neighboring counties. Cannon County's current sales tax rate is 8.75 percent, of which 7 percent is paid to the Tennessee State Sales Tax. Commissioners pointed out Cannon County residents already are paying the
higher sales tax when they shop and do business in Rutherford, Coffee and Warren Counties.
If passed, half of the money generated by the sales tax would help fund the Cannon County Schools System.
In other business, the Cannon County Commission has given approval for a partnership with the Tennessee Corrections Institute to address overcrowding concerns at the Cannon County Jail.
As of Sept. 11, figures show 73 inmates are housed at the Cannon County Jail, which was built to house 42 inmates (34 male, eight female). As of Sept. 11, there were 59 males and 14 females housed at the jail.
Overcrowding is chief among reasons why the Cannon County Jail is no longer certified by the State of Tennessee. Lack of certification could result in possible inmate lawsuits, inmate health issues and assaults.
Representatives will work together with Cannon County leaders, the Sheriff's Department, CTAS and other individuals to develop a program to assist in working toward gaining certification.
The partnership is free to the county and the emphasis will be on education and putting together a plan that will help solve the issues of jail overcrowding.
In other action, the Commission re-elected Bob Stoetzel as chairman. Mark Barker was elected Chairman Pro-Temp.
The Commission made changes to the various committees. Jackie Francis, who is no longer on the Joint Economic Board, was replaced by Randall Reid of the Industrial Development Board. Reid requested that the Commission hold off on finalizing the nomination until after he presented it to the full Development Board at their October meeting.
Mike Underhill, who is the County Fire Board chairman, was added to the Homeland Security Committee. Kevin George and Clint Higgins requested they be taken off the Cannon County Budget Committee. Commissioners Jim Bush and Tony Neal replaced them.
The Industrial Development Board members and their terms were reaffirmed. Serving two year terms, which expire July 21, 2014, were Randall Reid and Dean Moore. Four-year term board members are Mindy Gunter and David Vance, and six-year industrial development board members will be Doug Bodary, Corey Davenport, and Neal Applebaum. The Commission voted to continue the same monthly schedule as they have been keeping. The meetings will be once a month on the second Tuesday of the month and Saturdays on every quarter which starts
in January. The Commission approved the revenue anticipation notes for the REACH program based on the stipulation that chairman Bob Stoetzel will verify that the grant money to back the request has been actually awarded to the Reach Program.
They also approved the revenue anticipation notes for the Ambulance Department as the Department is taken over their own budget and needs start up money to operate.
In other business Randall Reid of the Industrial Development Board gave a report to the full County Commission detailing some of the board's findings.