County Tax Rate Doesn’t Get Past Budget Committee

By Bill Dries

Shelby County Commissioners could not find enough votes in committee sessions Wednesday, July 17, for a county property tax rate that had any chance of passing before the full commission next week.

In the committee session Wednesday, 12 of the 13 commissioners were present.

But a proposed $4.32 tax rate from Commissioner Terry Roland only got two votes. Roland proposed the certified tax rate without a 6-cent tax hike proposed by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

Luttrell urged the commission to move ahead with the $4.38 tax rate he proposed that the commission voted down on third and final reading earlier this month. But that only got four votes in committee.

The $4.38 proposal goes to the full commission Monday with a negative recommendation from the budget committee.

Meanwhile, Luttrell told commissioners that County Attorney Kelly Rayne has advised him no matter what tax rate is set, the county cannot change the amount of funding for the consolidated school system in the already approved county budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.

The county provides $20 million in new funding for the merged school district in the budget plan.

The budget with the schools funding was not only approved by the County Commission, the level of schools funding was also accepted by the countywide school board, making the action final, according to Rayne.