Lincoln Commissioners Kill Property Tax Hike In Landslide Vote
LINCOLN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – A proposal that would have raised property taxes in Lincoln County, Tennessee by a whopping forty-three percent went down in flames Tuesday night in front of a standing room only crowd.
County commissioners overwhelmingly voted to kill the tax hike proposal by a tally of 22-1.
The landslide vote was a dramatic reversal from just a few weeks earlier, when seven of eight commissioners on the budget committee gave the plan a thumbs up. But weeks of public pressure and outrage may have played a factor in turning the tide as several property owners led a campaign to vote out any commissioner who voted for the plan.
“That is the people’s voice standing up,” said property owner Devin Allen, who called the vote a victory for all Lincoln County residents. “I know they tried to slide it past us…They’ve been up here spending money like drunken sailors.”
Officials said Tuesday night’s meeting was the highest attended in Lincoln County history. So many people showed up that an overflow room had to be provided, with the fire marshal eventually having to shut off access to the courthouse.
Commissioner Ricky Bryan was the only commissioner who voted in favor of the property tax hike. Six colleagues who sided with him in the committee stage changed their positions when it was time for the full formal vote.
Proponents had said the money was needed to fill funding holes for several county departments.
Six of the seven changed their votes, leaving commissioner Ricky Bryan as the only lawmaker who voted for the plan both times.