West Tennessee cities seek to overturn state bill

MCKENZIE, Tenn. — Some cities across West Tennessee are demanding that a financial bill that passed in 2002 be overturned.

McKenzie, Tennessee

In 2002, Tennessee addressed a historical relationship in order to address a significant shortfall in the budget, and 20 years later, officials in West Tennessee are now asking for readjustments.

Jill Holland, the mayor of McKenzie, says a law was passed in 1947 to help smaller cities pay for necessities such as police protection, access to clean water, and other basic needs to ensure a suitable lifestyle.

“The state gave over 4%, 4.67% back to the system of the sales tax revenue that was collected and that really helped the cities,” Holland said.

Holland says the state now has over $2 billion and can now afford to overturn that policy.

“They have not got to the point yet of where they are ready to give the state shared revenue back to the cities, and that’s where we are really hurting,” Holland said.

Government officials and other cities across West Tennessee are concerned because most of the residents are on fixed income and cannot afford a raise in taxes.

“We cannot afford to pave roads this year. I mean this is one of the streets that we have decided to pave this year, but we’re not going to be able to do that. Our citizens deserve the fire and deserve the police protection,” Holland said.

Holland says this problem is bigger than any one city or one person, and that it’s up to the residents as well as government officials to overturn this bill.

She says nothing can be achieved without a united front.

“Call up your representative, call up your senator, tell them how important it is that this money does not stay in the state general fund and that this money comes back to the city where it was generated,” Holland said.

Contact your local state representatives for more information on how you can get involved.

You can find who represents you here.

Find more local news here.

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