HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The people of Hendersonville could have the chance to vote on whether to increase sales taxes in the city by half a cent for every dollar for the next 10 years to fund parks, paving, roads, and public safety.
The sales tax increase would raise the rate from 9.25% to 9.75% to generate an additional $9 million for Hendersonville. Officials emphasized the money is desperately needed in order to continue to adequately fund city services.
“If we don’t do something this year, next year’s budget we’re going to be faced with a dilemma,” Alderman Eddie Roberson said. “We’re going to be faced with either severely cutting the services this city provides, or raising property taxes.”
Roberson told General Committee members the third option of letting voters decide whether to increase sales taxes puts the ball in the people’s court, and it avoids the alternative of having to raise property taxes.
“I don’t want to have to vote for a property tax increase because I’m afraid that would put some of our citizens possibly giving up their home, and I don’t want to do that,” Roberson said.
Roberson named the ordinance “the Hendersonville Investment in the Future Act.” If approved, it would expire after 10 years and put up for another citizen vote.
In addition, the ordinance would require the mayor to itemize how the money is spent in every annual budget.
Multiple city leaders emphasized the fact that the voters would have the ultimate say in the decision.
“We are giving the public the opportunity to help us determine the future of the city,” Mayor Jamie Clary said. “Is this sales tax something they want, or to continue to head down the road where a property tax is imminent?”
The measure will be sent to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for a vote in three weeks. It will also have to be approved by the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
If approved, a special election could be held in November or December, according to officials.