Mayor lashes out at city council over budget - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mayor lashes out at city council over budget

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton lashed out at the Memphis City Council in a letter sent Friday.

He said council members made a huge mistake last summer when they cut $66 million in funding for Memphis City Schools, which reduced the property tax rate.

Herenton also claims the council is now trying to derail his current budge to make up for their mistake.

This week, the mayor presented his budget - which does not include additional funding for MCS - to the council.

Some council members are concerned about the lack of school funding in the mayor's budget. But in his letter, Herenton says council members should have thought about that when they cut their contribution.

He wrote, "In my judgment, the council should not have decreased the funding for city schools and should not have lowered the tax rate. You ignored my advice and some council members are threatening to undo a balanced fiscal year 2010 operating budget to hedge your mistake."

Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery responded to the Mayor's letter, saying that while he agrees with the mayor's original budget which calls for the same funding as last year, Lowry is not on board with additional taxes for Memphians.

"I disagree with the letter today saying that we should increase taxes to pay these additional dollars before the courts have resolved the issue," said Lowry.
It's possible Memphis City Schools might still receive their additional funding by this fall. The school district sued and won the right to receive the $66 million from city council. That ruling, however, is currently under appeal.

Click here to read the mayor's letter to the city council.

Click here to read attorney Allan Wade's opinion on the legality of Mayor Herenton's budget proposal.

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