BREAKING: Madison Co. commissioners approve agreement with city on school funding tax issue

JACKSON, Tenn. — Madison County commissioners have approved an agreement with the city of Jackson to evenly split the city’s portion of sales tax revenue that previously went to the school system.

According to the agreement, the city and county will evenly split the revenues the city receives from its share of a 1.25 percent local option sales tax for the next 10 years, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

The city had previously given that portion of sales tax revenue to the school system. The money amounts to around $12 million annually.

The county will continue to use its portion for the Jackson-Madison County School System.

The city will give the school system $6 million of the $12 million previously given to the schools, according to Madison County attorney Steve Maroney.

The county will still have to provide the other $6 million and still may have to raise taxes, according to Madison County Budget Committee Chairman Doug Stephenson.

The County Commission will hold a special called meeting at 8:30 a.m. July 18 to determine how they will raise the $6 million.

The agreement also sets up the Jackson-Madison County Education Foundation to support school improvement initiatives, according to the release.

The Jackson City Council will vote on the agreement when it meets at 9 a.m. July 11.

According to Maroney, the Jackson-Madison County School Board must also approve the agreement for it to take effect.

If approved, it becomes effective for the 2017-2018 fiscal year that begins July 1, according to the release.

The county’s lawsuit against the city will be dismissed if the agreement is approved, according to Maroney.

Madison County filed a lawsuit May 31 claiming the city of Jackson violated a contract when they pulled that portion of tax money that had previously gone to the school system.

The lawsuit stemmed from a City Council vote May 18 approving a resolution to keep the money for the city.

The agreement approved Friday by the Madison County Commission also includes provisions to settle other financial issues between the city and the county, according to the release from the city.

These provisions include that during fiscal year 2017-2018, the city will pay the school system the remaining principal it owes from the city’s past collection of the mixing bar tax, which amounts to about $1.58 million, according to the release.

The city also will pay the county $195,000, which represents the funding deficit for 2015 it owes the county in support of the Jackson-Madison County Library and the Emergency Management Agency, the release states.

We’ll have more on this developing story and what the new Jackson-Madison County Education Foundation will mean for the school system this evening on WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News.

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