Increase in sales and use tax put to public referendum for City of Sparta

By | May 9, 2019 10:31 am

If a city referendum is successful, then everyone who spends money within the City of Sparta can expect to take more money from their wallets for an additional amount in sales and use tax.

By Ron Moses

Sparta Mayor and Board of Aldermen has voted to approve an ordinance that would increase sales and use tax in the city of Sparta and to request a public referendum on that same ordinance.

The rate would increase from 2.25 to 2.75 percent, if approved.

“We have all yielded many complaints through the years about the conditions of our roads,” said Sparta Mayor Jeff Young, during the May 2 meeting. “85 percent of the calls I get are usually about a road or a pothole or something like that in our community. Most cases we absolutely agree that it needs to be fixed, but it is not in our funds to do it.”

Young said the increase has been tried before.

“It takes a long time to educate folks on what you want to use this tax money for,” he said. “It’s not anything like property tax where everyone that owns property has to pay it. It’s a sales tax. Tourists and visitors will help pay a portion. We want to make sure this money goes to road repair in our community.”

Young said it is very important the city makes an effort to increase the tax, stating the city deserves better roads and has for a long time.

“Doing it this way will give the taxpayers in our community the opportunity to vote on whether or not they want these additional funds, so that we can do the road repair,” said Young.

Young continued to say that no one on the board is in favor of higher taxes, and, that in his 14 years on the board, they have worked hard every year to keep taxes low. However, the mayor said increased rates is the best way to secure road repair the community desperately needs.

Vice Mayor Jim Floyd said the city is in “dire need” of road repair.

“If we can’t get this passed, the only other option we are going to have is to raise property taxes,” said Floyd.

Young said if the city doesn’t increase the tax, the state may.

“A few years back, it was talked about at the state level,” he said. “If cities like us did not increase that the state was looking at it like, if you do not need it, we do. If the state of Tennessee ever takes that sales tax up half a percent and puts that in the state coffers, that money is gone from our community from now on, and we will never get it back.”

The ordinance and referendum were approved but, not unanimously.

Aldermen Jerry Lowery was the dissenting vote.

comments » 4

  1. Comment by Jeanette Adams

    May 9, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Isnt that what all the tax on fuel goes for, road repair? What is the Road Commission doing with that money?

  2. Comment by Susan Ross

    May 9, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    First were having an increase on our water and now a higher sales tax! We have one off the highest sales tax in the nation. What next tax hick on gas too? You can’t get blood from a stone! Yes our roads need attetion. I get that. But y’all are just going to fatten your wallets when all said and done. Paying a wheel tax is a joke. Just to pay for county employees health care. I have to pay for my own, why can’t they?

  3. Comment by Paul Holman

    May 12, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    no, NO, NO!!! what we DON’T is more and more tax’s !! Mr. Baily told us the ” NEW ” tax put on gasoline was for roads Government just keeps on wanting more, AND more AND MORE!! of MY $MONEY$ !!

  4. Comment by Linda LeFevre

    May 17, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    NO PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You rulers of White County and City of Sparta. And of course Mr. Bailey. You put taxes on first on License tags for vehicles.. stating that it would go for roads and police. You said there would be no new property tax… and not even 6 months latter you raised property taxes.. Then the state of TN raised gas taxes. Now you want to raise tax on the dollar.. Jeff Young has bought up all of Sparta, let him pay some taxes. The people for years now in office have run this county in the ground. No new factories or businesses for employment. I know for a fact a couple business wanted to come here because of the airport enlarging and close to the interstate. What did the city and county do.. said no.. Now we are down to one big grocery store and two drug stores and empty builds in the downtown area. So you people who are sitting on your dairy airs in your notoriety county and city offices get up and bring business back so we can shop here. I worked out of this county and much easier to shop in nice stores then come home. And since you have apparently mishandled the funds that you have been collecting you better put it to a county vote… You officials have ripped us off enough with forcing taxes on us without our vote. Have a Blessed Day.


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