Wilson County commissioners Monday night turned the decision of a wheel tax increase to pay for a new high school, over to voters.
Lebanon High School is about to start its 57th school year in an aging building that some say either needs to be renovated or torn down.
Commissioners want to pay for a new school by doubling the wheel tax, which is currently $25, the lowest in the area.
The proposed increase would bring Wilson County's wheel tax in-line with other Middle Tennessee counties, at around $50.
Commissioner Paul Abercrombie said, "Anytime you talk about taxes, people aren't too much in favor of it, including me."
Abercrombie says even though most people agree the best way to pay for the new school is through a wheel tax, commissioners didn't want to be the ones to make the final decision.
"We had two choices, we do it, or let them do it, and [Monday] night, we voted to send it to the election commission and let the people vote on it," he said.
County officials want the wheel tax increase to begin at the first of the year, but since there is no general election or elections of any kind this fall, a special election will have to be called.
That special election would cost the county $100,000.
"Most people were in favor of the wheel tax but there was some opposition. Not a lot, but some" says Abercrombie. "It is their money, and I just thought they should have a say rather than me saying, ‘I'm going to tax you.'"
A date for the special election cannot be set until Wilson County commissioners approve a new budget.