Supporters, opposition of sales tax hike fight for your vote

Supporters, opposition of sales tax hike fight for your vote

(WMC-TV) – Both sides of the half cent sales tax proposal are fighting for your vote.

The possible sales tax hike has become one of the most contentious issues locally.

Sales tax proponents wanted to clear up any confusion before Election Day, while others say confusion still exists.

A final sales pitch for the proposed half cent sales tax hike came from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and others who gathered with him at city hall.

"Why we're standing here is a vote for all the children to get a better education, wherever they live," said Mayor Wharton.

It was the first time Action News 5 heard the term "tax equalization" during the debate. It means the measure would bring the inner city in line with what the suburbs have already approved.

"It was good enough for them to take care of their children, but not enough to care for our children. That's insulting," said Tennessee Representative G.A. Hardaway, (D) Memphis.

If passed, the half cent sales tax would generate some $60 million. Half of that would by law, go to schools.

Proponents pledge to fund pre-k with the additional dollars.

"Everybody loves the pre-k, so the fact that everybody loves it that much then not spend the money on it defies logic and common sense," said Shea Flinn, Memphis City Council.

"There's just not enough information to make an educated decision on this," said Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell believes a sales tax increase should be revisited after the school board comes up with a better idea of how much money the consolidated district requires.

Opponents of the proposed sales tax hike scheduled a news conference Monday but later canceled it.

Both sides plan to gather Tuesday night as election results come in.

Action News 5 will have those results as they come in live on television, online, and your smartphones.

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