Court hearing in Warrior tax case continued

Judge Steven King Monday continued the hearing on the merits of Warrior’s extension of its sales tax throughout its police jurisdiction. King meets with lawyers for both parties today, Wednesday, to set a new date for the hearing and implementation of tax collection resulting from passage of the December ordinance.

A part of west Blount County lies in Warrior’s police jurisdiction. Blount County District Attorney Tommy Rountree filed suit against Warrior in January to block implementation of the ordinance in Blount County. In a negotiated agreement on Jan. 28, both parties agreed to hear arguments on the merits of the case on March 14, and to delay tax collection until April 1.

Remaining to be determined is the status of the April 1 effective date to begin tax collection in the affected area, though that matter could be addressed in the Wednesday meeting, according to Rountree.

The reason given for the continuance, according to Rountree, was that an extended hearing and decision on the matter would become moot in a matter of days if the state Legislature passes the Hayden annexation bill, as expected. Passage of that bill, according to Rep. Elwyn Thomas, could come as early as March 25.

“While the Hayden annexation bill would prevent Warrior from taxing 75 percent of the proposed annexation, I nevertheless will continue to push the litigation until all of the police jurisdiction property is covered,” Rountree wrote in an e-mail message to interested parties.