As the August election approaches and early voting continues, Monroe County voters have the opportunity to decide on a sales tax increase for the county.

According to Monroe County Mayor Mitch Ingram, the sales tax increase is “essentially” matching the sales tax in the county to the sales tax already established in one of the county’s cities.

“The sales tax would go from 9.5% to 9.75%, so the rest of the county would be brought up to the same level as Sweetwater,” said Ingram. “That additional funding would go into the county general budget, but all sales tax regardless of if it is collected in the county or in the city will have half of it go straight to the school system.”

The remaining 50% will then go to the county general budget or to the city that it was collected in.

“This is something that the commission considered last year,” Ingram stated. “They feel that sales tax is the fairest of any tax because you can collect from people who are out of town or out of state and everybody pays sales tax. So they felt this was an opportunity, especially since we have one town that is already maxed out on that level.”

Ingram stated that he can understand voters being potentially upset by the proposed increase.

“I can understand their concern and that is one reason that it is on the ballot,” Ingram noted. “The voters will get to decide on if this tax goes through or not.”

Ingram hopes that the citizens will be able to help decide on any future tax increases.

“This is how the commission decided to go about it and let the people of Monroe County vote on it one way or the other,” Ingram said.

“Hopefully more of the tax increases can be done this way too.”

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