City, County Governments Spar Over Sales Tax Agreement

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn.(WHNT)-A squabble over sales tax revenue is making waves in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

The city of Fayetteville confirms that it will end a sales tax sharing agreement it’s had with Lincoln County for several years in order to fund some capital improvement projects that include construction of a new police station and several street upgrades. Fayetteville has voluntarily split its one-and-a-half cent sales tax proceeds with Lincoln County, which most recently generated more than $600,000 for both entities.

Lincoln County Mayor Peggy Bevels told WHNT News 19 she was blindsided by the move, spurring her to write a letter to city officials that warned of “possible damage” if the agreement was allowed to hit its expiration date in June. Bevels said county funding for the area’s only animal shelter and senior center would likely be cut off, putting the survival of both non-profits in jeopardy.

“It was a shock,” said Bevels. “We don’t like it. We like to be able to help the community. We like to be stable enough to operate.”

Bevels said there was simply nowhere else she could cut from in the county’s annual $40 million budget.

“The commissioners have not been able to find that.”

But Fayetteville Alderwoman Gwen Shelton disputed Bevel’s assertions, noting that the sales tax agreement was always voluntary and not a legal obligation.

“This isn’t about us working against them, this is about us getting some money back that’s been ours,” said Shelton. “We’ve got a lot of projects in place. We’ve got a new police department we want to build. We have some sidewalks, some streets. Right now we just think it’s a good time to not renew a three-year contract…Their [Lincoln County] budget is larger than ours. Ours is $8.5 million, they’re right at $40 million. Mayor Bevels and the community knew that one day the city might take it back, and with a budget as large as theirs is, I would hope that $600,000 wouldn’t cripple their budget.”

The budget committees for both government bodies are scheduled to meet together next week to discuss the sales tax agreement. The Fayetteville Board of Aldermen voted not to renew the agreement earlier this year.

7 comments

  • MMM

    Wor where is the money going towards? I didn’t see anything about schools or more recreation and things for kids to do to keep them out of trouble. What about the businesses? If it wasn’t for the people that lived in fayetteville that work out of Huntsville, fayetteville would be nothing. There is nothing appealing about Fayetteville so where does the money go?

  • Josh

    All this fighting between the politicians… And we suffer in this county we have the highest wheel tax in the state higher gas prices than all surrounding counties and of course or public works are outragiest and we have nothing to show for it they don’t want industry here or even merchants so it’s the good ol take take take and not any give to the people… So idk why they argue must be someone isn’t gonna get their pockets increased!!!!

  • char

    Fayetteville is always about money nothing more..they never want to help the ones that are filling their pockets full..plus they make their own rules as they go which is crazy as well..this Town is NOT worth living in at all..i hate it here and there is no jobs here at all..and all they worried about is building for their needs not everyone elses needs..they were supposed to open up a place to get teens off the streets so they wont get in trouble but nope they dont want to cause they all about money..they need more jobs and make this place bigger with jobs and other things and maybe this town wouldnt be so bad..so i advise anyone NOT to live in Fayetteville unless u wanna keep handing out and never get paid back in any way!!..thats why others are moveing to other places and i dont blame them but some are stuck cause they not fortuanate to have the money to move and me and my Family is one of them sadly!!

  • KRM

    Fayetteville has always seen the county folks as $ signs and not good for much of anything else. For instance (several years ago) the city folks voted on garbage pickup and low and behold they stuck an additional $6 on our electric bill for garbage pickup or drop off or whatever. It was a vote that we did not get to decide.Then if we paid the electric bill and not the $6-they would turn off our electric-THIS IS EXTORTION AND TAXATION WITHOUT REPRSENTATION!! So for the young people leave, go, get a good life in a place that cares for all its people and treats everyone the same no matter where you live. Also there is some zoning commission/board that gets in the business of land owners in the county-telling them how, what and why of anybody’s property smaller than 5 acres. The government of this town has no concept of the Constitution. Its what ever makes them feel warm and fuzzy-no matter who’s neck they step on or what it cost other people as long as they feel fuzzy.

  • KRM

    I also wanted to say one of the best things you could do for this county or even Fayetteville is not to vote for Gwen Shelton for anything. Also refering to the article above-how much sale tax does people in the county contribute? A fine example of how we are just thought of as a $ sign and not real people.

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