Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell today vetoed the recent resolution by the Shelby County Commission to raise the sales tax county-wide by a half percent.
Money from the tax increase, if approved by voters in Memphis, Millington and the unincorporated areas of Shelby County, would have generated money for the newly created Shelby County School system, which begins next year.
"I felt the commission's action was premature. As I've stated many times, I believe we must review all options regarding the school budget before initiating a tax increase," said Mayor Luttrell.
The Transition Planning Commission for Shelby County's new public school system recently called for a thorough review of the school budget for cost-saving measures. The school budget is still under discussion by the Shelby County School Board and is months away from being submitted to the Shelby County Commission for approval.
"With a close review of the school budget, we may be able to make recommendations that could prevent a sales tax increase. It's important that we look at every aspect of the schools budget before we create an additional tax burden for the citizens," added Mayor Luttrell.
The Shelby County Commission can still override the mayor's veto.
Should eight of the 13 commissioners vote to raise the sales tax, the issue would be ultimately decided in November by voters in Memphis, Millington and the unincorporated areas of Shelby County. Citizens in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Lakeland have already voted to raise the sales tax in their communities to pay for their municipal school systems.