Shelby County Commission approved vote on taxes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A move by the Shelby County Commission could push a tax hike referendum by Memphis off the November ballot.

According to The Commercial Appeal, commissioners voted 7-5 on Monday to put a half-cent, countywide sales tax hike proposal up for a popular vote. State statute says counties trump municipalities in calling for referenda.

County Mayor Mark Luttrell has 10 days to veto the council vote, which it could then override. Luttrell has said the new unified city-county school board should be given a chance to shrink an expected $59 million deficit before a tax increase is called for.

Voters in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Lakeland approved municipal half-cent tax hikes Aug. 2 and would not vote in the referendum called by the commission.

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