Kingsport Times News Friday, August 28, 2015

Local News

Sullivan committee expresses support for 'less evil' wheel tax

August 6th, 2012 10:35 pm by J. H. Osborne

BLOUNTVILLE — An effort to place a wheel tax proposal on the Nov. 6 ballot for Sullivan County voters rolled ahead a bit on Monday.

The Sullivan County Commission’s Administrative Committee endorsed putting the question to voters. If it gains enough support from the full Sullivan County Commission and makes its way onto the ballot, it might be joined there by a second new-tax referendum — one that would raise the sales tax rate in non-city portions of the county.

Discussion among committee members Monday indicates support for either measure leans heavily on making sure either option — if ultimately approved by voters — would create an equal decrease in the county’s property tax rate.

For example, if a $20-per-vehicle wheel tax (that’s the amount an amendment would add to the proposal) were to generate $2.9 million (that’s a projection based on 144,519 vehicles being taxed), the County Commission would lower the county’s property tax rate by about 8 cents, committee members said.

Another new twist potentially added by amendment: If approved by voters in November, the new wheel tax would automatically be placed on the ballot again and again — in every presidential election — for voters to once again approve or reject.

Read the expanded version of this report in the print edition of the Times-News or its enhanced electronic edition.

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