LINCOLN COUNTY, Tn. (WHNT) - Fourth of July fireworks came a day early in Lincoln County, Tennessee, as furious residents blasted a proposal that would raise their property taxes by more than 40 percent.
Lincoln County commissioners held a public hearing on the property tax plan Tuesday night in a contentious meeting that saw angry voters threaten political payback on anyone who voted for the 43 percent hike.
Dozens of people packed the meeting room at the Lincoln County courthouse, with nearly all of them promising to vote out commissioners who vote for the proposal.
Supporters of the plan said they believe it's the best way to fill in funding holes for several county departments, but opponents claimed commissioners had failed to cut out government fat, recruit new businesses, and find other creative cost-saving alternatives.
"We're gonna get a petition, and we're gonna stop this," said a man who identified himself as a fed-up property owner. "If you want to be voted back in your position next time, you better vote no against this. I'm not threatening you, that is a promise."
Supporters of the plan declined to comment afterwards, saying it wasn't the right time to talk. Other commissioners declined to say whether or not they would vote for the plan.
A vote on the proposed property tax hike will be held in two weeks. Lincoln County currently has one of the 10 lowest property tax rates in Tennessee, and last raised property taxes eight years ago.