By SARAH GRACE TAYLOR
The Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to defer a resolution to join an interlocal agreement with the county for the proposed sales tax increase to help fund county schools.
The board held a special session meeting Tuesday night to discuss allocating additional revenue raised by a sales tax increase, as proposed by County Mayor Rogers Anderson, to the county schools for three years.
After every other town in the county voted to approve the interlocal agreement, Thompson’s Station drafted a resolution that would allow the city some independence to possibly pull out of the deal if local voters do not agree with the increase.
According to the proposed resolution, Thompson’s Station would join the interlocal agreement to surrender its half of the increased revenue to the county schools, but only if the city voters supported the overall referendum to increase the tax.
Under those proposed terms, Thompson’s Station would not share the tax increase with the county if a majority of Thompson’s Station voters vote against the referendum, even if the overall referendum passes.
Members of the board were concerned that if they agree to the county’s proposal as is, the estimated $600,000 revenue generated by Thompson’s Station over the three years may not be used to proportionately benefit the town.
“I think the sales tax approach that they’re taking is a quick fix and I won’t call it lazy, but I think it’s stop-gap approach to funding large assets,” Thompson’s Station Mayor Corey Napier said. “If the voters are on board and the majority of Thompson’s Station is cool with the increase, and they know that their board members aren’t going to have control over the funds for this amount of time…what do we really lose?”
Moreover, all present members of the board were concerned that if they entered the agreement, the county could wait too long to go to a referendum vote. Piggybacking off of Brentwood’s decision to add a 15-month deadline to its memorandum, the board agreed to add a time limit from the date of the agreement before the resolution is considered again.
Napier said while Thompson’s Station wants to ensure citizens are taken care of, they don’t intend to be isolated from the county.
“Yeah we have a renegade kind of persona, but there’s also playing team ball with the county,” Napier said. “We’ve done more than our fair share, but I don’t think there could ever be a way to perfectly equally distribute funds in a rapidly growing county.”
The board will meet next month to vote on a revised proposal in which they plan to include a time limit on the potential agreement.