published Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

City takes consensual vote on sales tax agreement

by Cliff Hightower

The Chattanooga City Council informally agreed today that it would like the 45-year-old sales-tax agreement between the city and Hamilton County to expire next month.

Councilwoman Carol Berz, chairwoman of the Budget, Finance and Personnel Committee, asked the council this morning if it would like the contract to expire. There were no negative responses from the eight council members present.

The sales tax agreement governs almost $10.5 million annually in sales tax given to 28 different agencies. The county has historically governed where the money goes.

“It’s time for that government to step up its role,” said Councilman Peter Murphy. “We shouldn’t be crutching them along anymore.”

The council is set to vote on a resolution tonight saying it supports not renewing the sales-tax agreement, which went into effect in 1966.

The council also took a consensual vote today saying it would support the city fully paying for libraries within Chattanooga and also for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency.

Council members also agreed the county should be responsible for funding the Hamilton County Health Department, Erlanger hospital and Hamilton County Emergency Services.

For complete details, read tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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midnitewatchman said...

This current administration (City Goverment) is trying to change the face of goverment in Chattanooga. When city charters were drawn and the people of the cities agreed to provide certain services with their tax dollars, some of these agreements have been in place for many years. County Goverment is mandated to provide certain services and as cities began to grow, they took on or assisted with these services to make the city a better place. When it comes down to it, what does a "city" have to provide excluding the Charter agreements? Cities do not have to provide Police, Health Services, School service, the list goes on. City taxes its residents to provide services the city wants/wishes to provide and the money to pay salaries for those positions. The county taxes is residents (City and County residents) to provide the services its required and wishes/wants to provide along with their salaries. How much money would Chattanooga have in reserves if it wasnt for mismanagement of funds? Rewriting bonds, big tax deals, construction investment problems? While I agree there should be some kind of agreement with Chattanooga and the Hamilton County goverment (as in the one expiring), it should be examined carefully as the Hamilton County Goverment bottom line has more statutory authority than City Goverment, not vice versa. (opinion)

April 12, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.
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