Collierville mayor defends municipal sales tax

Collierville mayor defends municipal sales tax
(WMC-TV) - In August, Shelby County suburbanites gave lawmakers marching orders to collect sales taxes to pay for new municipal schools.

Suburban leaders are still working to carry out voters' wishes to create their own schools, one way or another.

"We moved forward in our planning based on that true mandate," said Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner. 

Collierville is one of six municipalities collecting an extra half-cent sales tax to start their own school system. 

But that changed when a judge ruled municipal schools unconstitutional Tuesday.

"Our fiscal year ends June the 30th. We'll collect it until that point," said Joyner.

Mayor Stan Joyner says a Collierville board voted on a clear directive for the $4 million.

"This current board passed a resolution that pledges that money be used for education. A future board might change that," he said.

He said the board also has a fail-safe.

"Part of the resolution was the money would be given back to the taxpayer in the form of a one-time decrease in the property tax rate. Two different taxpayers there," said Joyner.

Mayors across the county said they'll form their own schools somehow, even if they can't start municipal schools.

"If something happened and down the road we don't get our school system, we will spend those fund for past debts and that type thing," said Joyner. 

Suburban voters have always maintained they're willing to pay.

According to Joyner, it's an understanding that taxpayers knew the risk going in.

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