published Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

County Commission will vote on ‘symbolic’ sales tax resolution


by Dan Whisenhunt

Hamilton County Commission Chairman Larry Henry said this morning that commissioners will consider a resolution in support of extending a sales tax agreement with the city of Chattanooga when they meet Thursday. But city of Chattanooga officials say the commission is wasting its time.

The decades-old agreement, which expires in May, is used to pay for jointly funded agencies between the county and city, such as the public library and health department. The county would lose more than $10 million if the agreement is allowed to sunset. Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield said the agreement will expire.

Henry still hopes something can be worked out.

“I’m still hoping for that,” Henry said. “These different agencies might be in jeopardy of being funded. There's not going to be an agreement on the books that specifies these agencies are going to be supported.”

Littlefield spokesman Richard Beeland said the city has made its position clear.

“From the administration's point of view this is really just a waste of time and effort,” Beeland said. “We've made it clear what's going to happen with this and are moving on.”

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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