Wharton makes final push for sales tax hike - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Wharton makes final push for sales tax hike

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Mayor A C Wharton spoke out in support of the sales tax referendum a day before the election.

Monday afternoon, Wharton held a news conference in support of the referendum.  Also in favor of raising the sales tax a half cent were city and state leaders, and several local organizations.

Wharton wants the voters to know that half of the money generated from the tax must go to local schools, according to state law.  That's an estimated $31 million a year.

Wharton said to ignore the groups against the sales tax, saying they are made up of suburban Shelby County residents who don't have the Memphis city children's best interests in mind.

"If it happened to be good enough for their children, why is it not good enough for children in the core city, in the city of Memphis?" asked Wharton.

Some of the suburban cities will lose money they had planned for municipal schools if the tax goes county wide.

"So now we have Memphis residents and unincorporated getting a chance to vote to take away half of the money for their school system," says Shelby County Commissioner Chris Thomas who formed a group in opposition to the county wide sales tax hike.

Suburban residents do not get a vote on the issue because they already approved a raise in the sales tax in August.  Only Memphis and unincorporated residents will vote on the county wide tax.

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