Sales tax referendum meetings set

A series of informational meetings on the upcoming sales tax referendum on Nov. 8 has begun for county municipalities and will continue through Oct. 17.

The purpose of the meetings is to outline the facts of the sales tax proposal and distribution of proceeds, and to allow the audience to ask questions about details of the commission’s Moving Blount County Forward road improvement plan, and other aspects of the referendum.

Meetings are conducted by Commission Chairman Chris Green, accompanied by commissioners Dean Calvert and/or Gary Stricklin and have already been made to town leaders in Altoona, County Line, Locust Fork, Highland Lake, Hayden, and Cleveland. The Blount County Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Services Association was included in the earlier presentations.

Presentations are set in the remaining municipalities according to the following schedule. Meetings are open to the public.

Snead Old Community Center, Aug. 22, 7 p.m.

Rosa Town Hall, Sept. 6, 6 p.m.

Blountsville Town Hall, Sept. 8, 6 p.m. (tentative)

Allgood Town Hall, Sept. 12, 6 p.m.

Oneonta City Hall, Sept. 13, 5:30 p.m. (tentative)

Susan Moore Town Hall, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.

Nectar Town Hall, Oct. 17, 7 p.m.

Overview of sales tax proposal

The sales tax increase proposed is an additional 1 cent on each dollar of retail sales throughout the county. If passed by vote of the people, it is estimated to produce about $3 million annually in additional revenues for the county.

By law, proceeds would be distributed as follows:

• Half (approximately $1.5 million annually) would be designated for maintenance of county roads and bridges.

• One-third ($1 million annually) would be divided by student enrollment between the two county school systems – 85 percent to the Blount County Board of Education, 15 percent to the Oneonta Board of Education.

• One-sixth ($500,000 annually) would be divided by population among the county’s 12 municipalities, plus a pro-rata share to Altoona for the portion of its population residing in Blount County.

• $50,000 annually would be divided among the county’s 23 fire and rescue departments.