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VOL. 129 | NO. 139 | Friday, July 18, 2014

Wharton Clarifies He Won't Propose Sales Tax Ballot Question

By Bill Dries

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Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. clarified Thursday, July 17, that he has no intention of proposing a ballot question later this year asking city voters to approve a half cent increase in the city’s local option sales tax.

The statement follows a general call during Tuesday’s Memphis City Council session by Memphis Police Association president Mike William to put such a tax hike to city voters with the estimated $47 million in revenue it would generate being used to restore cuts to city employee and retiree health insurance benefits starting January 1.

No one on the council has come forward with the referendum ordinance necessary to do that.

Wharton said Tuesday that he could perhaps support such a move.

But Thursday, he not only ruled out proposing it, but also said the budget for the current fiscal year that includes the health insurance cuts should move ahead without amendments.

“I respect the people’s right to vote,” Wharton said in the Thursday statement of a sales tax ballot question. “But, it is necessary that everyone understand that for us to comply with state law and move forward in addressing our issues with pension and healthcare reform, we must implement the plan we have outlined in the budget resolutions as passed.”

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 65 366 17,721
MORTGAGES 70 417 23,068
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 15 91 4,519
BUILDING PERMITS 210 932 42,157
BANKRUPTCIES 62 299 16,691
BUSINESS LICENSES 19 80 5,781
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 49 305 25,174
MARRIAGE LICENSES 16 96 5,381

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