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Property Tax Vote Looms In Lincoln County

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Ten. (WHNT) - A heated property tax vote is shaping up this week north of the state line.

Lincoln County commissioners are scheduled to vote on a 43 percent property tax hike on Tuesday, and at least one of those leaders is now pledging to vote no.

Commissioner David Smith calls the proposed tax increase a bad idea, and said he's gotten dozens of phone calls in the last week urging him to vote no.

"I'll have to go with what the people say, and that's gonna be a no vote," said Smith. "Everybody that I talk to or comes up to me will say, please don't vote for this, we just cannot afford it...We all have to live within our means, and have to tighten our belt, and everyone is going to have to just buckle down. You can only spend what you have, and if the county doesn't have it, we certainly can't spend it."

Smith is one of just twenty-four commissioners who will be voting Tuesday night. Most of his colleagues declined to say how they would vote at a public hearing earlier this month, a meeting that drew dozens of irate property owners. Many of those residents pledged to vote out any commissioner who voted for the plan.

Supporters of the property tax increase said the revenue is needed to plug in funding holes for several different county departments, and that it would be difficult to run the county without it.

Lincoln County currently has one of the ten lowest property tax rates in Tennessee, and last raised property taxes eight years ago.

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