MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- The Shelby County Commission has approved a sales tax increase referendum, overriding county Mayor Mark Luttrell's veto.
The decision Monday puts a proposal to raise the local sales tax by a half-cent on the November ballot. Officials say the increase would raise $60 million.
Commissioner Mark Ritz sponsored the measure, saying the commission had to ensure enough funding for the upcoming merger of the Memphis and county schools. The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/PWeooa ) reports that the merged system has a projected budget deficit of roughly $7 million.
Luttrell has called the referendum premature.
If voters approve the county increase, it will diminish revenue reaped by five Memphis suburbs that this month approved half-cent city sales tax increases to fund creation of separate municipal school systems.