No Hike in County Tax Rate this Fiscal Year

Rate Stays at $1.3702, Likely to Rise Next Fiscal Year


The county tax rate will not go up this fiscal year, staying at $1.3702, however, commissioners at the Thursday, May 30 Finance, Ways, and Means Committee (FWM) stated that it will likely have to go up the next fiscal year. The commission has not raised taxes since 2012.

The reasoning for an increase the next fiscal year has a lot to do with teacher raises, according to Director of Schools Jeff Cupples.

“The fact is that we've got all these mandates as far as teacher pay and it's going to be hitting us hard,” Cupples stated.

Commissioner David Hawks raised numerous possibilities for a possible increase, citing the possibility of Governor Lee’s voucher program being implemented in the future which would affect the county’s general fund, the stock market drop, the economy and the possibility of another COVID outbreak, thus increasing the county’s tax rate the next fiscal year.

“I don’t think anyone in this room wants to talk about raising taxes and I’m against raising taxes, but I think we’re trying to put a Band-Aid on something,” stated Hawks.

“We’re fixing to have to make a lot tougher decision and they probably need to be made today. The budget is tight right now,” Hawks emphasized.

Commissioner Greg Usery, while not disagreeing, wanted to wait until the next fiscal year to look at raising taxes.

“In another year, we're going to know a whole lot more about where we are. We're going to know more about the economy. We're going to know more about what these mandatory increases are,” Usery stated.

“I’d rather just look at it one time and have it done,” pro tem Mayor Dennis Doster stated.

Cupples informed the board that in the last fiscal year, the school system lost three pennies from the commission and if they had that money now, they’d be in the black.

The last fiscal year, the school system received a lot of grant money, so they did not ask the commission for any money.

“We pushed everything we had into raises to try to soften this blow. Now it's here.” Cupples stated. The school system would be taking non-recurring revenue to pay for recurring expenses, according to Cupples.

By this time next year the expenses the school is looking at is $500,000 on laptops and buses plus staying competitive in pay which would require a million dollars in raises, according to Cupples.

“So you're looking at nine plus pennies. Now you talk about sticker shock, that's like trying to go buy a Suburban. So I mean, for a taxpayer, that's a kick in the pants,” Cupples explained.

Doster emphasized that no matter what the increase in taxes was, the community would be upset about it and the county would likely be looking at those increases come the next fiscal calendar year.

Weakley County, Weakley County Taxes, Weakley County Commisssion