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Blount Co. looking at other options after sales tax increase failed

4:50 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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On Tuesday, Blount County voters turned down an initiative that would raise the county's sales tax by a half-cent.

If it passed, Maryville City Schools, Blount County Schools, and the county highway department would have split the sales tax revenue.

It appears the measure failed by a 2000 vote margin.

Blount County was asking for a measure like the one that Alcoa voters already improved. Alcoa's sales tax revenue will fund a new high school and athletic upgrades.

Wednesday, Alcoa's Director of Schools says he's a little dissappointed that Blount County didn't pass the increase, but notes this will help Alcoa build its new high school a little quicker.

Now, Blount County commissioners are going back to the drawing board.

"We'd have to look at possibly a property tax increase or other ways of bringing in revenue to support the schools. We are looking at a possible deficit, estimating it to be $5 million," said Commissioner Rick Carver.

We are still waiting for the absentee ballots to be counted, but officials don't think those ballots will be enough to pass the referendum.

A similar sales tax increase was on the ballot in Campbell County and Madisonville, where it also failed.

The Campbell County increase was on the ballot again, after it failed in March. County officials say the extra money would have helped fund road repairs.

The proposed sales tax increase in Madisonville failed by a large margin.

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