Commission puts wheel tax hike on ballot

GALLATIN, Tenn. (AP) -- Sumner County Commission members have put a wheel tax hike on the November ballot as the county struggles to fund public schools.

The commission approved the referendum Monday night and voters will decide whether to increase the current $75 tax on vehicle registration by $25.

The Tennessean reported such an increase would bring in another $3 million annually for the schools. County Clerk Bill Kemp said if voters adopt the increase, the county would begin collecting it with January car license renewals.

Schools Director Del Phillips said the system cut $5 million from its budget last year and that cutting what's left of an original $7.6 million deficit this year would require layoffs of teachers.

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