Commissioner Proposes Dipping into Muni Tax Dollars for Schools

Commissioner Proposes Dipping into Muni Tax Dollars for Schools

One Shelby County Commissioner says since everybody is going to be in the merged school system this coming year, the six municipalities in Shelby County should pitch in money from their city budgets.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - One Shelby County Commissioner says since everybody is going to be in the merged school system this coming year, the six municipalities in Shelby County should pitch in money from their city budgets.

You've got to admit this is a plan that's interesting. Commissioner Henri Brooks says maybe we can keep county taxes lower by asking municipalities like Bartlett to use some of their city taxes to pay for unified schools.

The 'big six' - Bartlett, Millington, Arlington, Lakeland, Germantown and Collierville - are trying to get their own school systems started next year. Voters did approve sales tax increases in all of those communities for schools, and that's all Commissioner Brooks had to know.

"If we're all concerned about the children, if we're concerned about layoffs, if we're concerned about having a world class system, why not all pitch in - and they do have some dollars," she said.

Everybody in Shelby County pays county taxes and that money is used for funding the unified school system. The Brooks idea would be using the individual community's tax money.

"They need to make up their minds on who's going to do it. You know, seriously, it just goes on and on," noted Bartlett resident Natalie Buford. "And who's going to suffer for it now? Just the kids. So somebody's got to pay for it."

Somebody's got to pay for it, but nobody wants to pay for it. Mayor Mark Luttrell says the Brooks idea of going to the cities and towns of Shelby County just doesn't cut the mustard.

"Memphis is not helping, so we haven't reached out to the suburban municipalities to ask them to help. Education is primarily a county responsibility."

This won't be a hard sell; it'll be a no sell. Mayor Luttrell says the chances of him bringing this up are slim and none.


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