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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 61 331 19,904
MORTGAGES 80 391 23,305
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 83 8,387
BUILDING PERMITS 0 338 40,366
BANKRUPTCIES 35 231 13,335
BUSINESS LICENSES 28 76 6,213
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 125 13,120
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 94 4,936

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