Approved $40 wheel tax increase helps balance Hawkins County budget

HAWKINS COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – A tax increase is on the way for people who live and own cars in Hawkins County. Commissioners approved a $40 wheel tax increase at Monday’s night commission meeting.

They were under a July 1 deadline to come up with a budget agreement.

The stalemate over how to fund county operations got to the point a representative from the Tennessee Comptrollers Office came to Hawkins County in person to warn commissioners they had to agree on a spending plan or the State of Tennessee would take over budget decisions.

  • See also: TN Comptroller to Hawkins Co. Commissioners:  ‘Your only duty is to balance the budget’

A wheel tax increase got initial approval last month.

  • See also: Public service personnel grateful Hawkins Co. Commissioners approve wheel tax increase

After hours of debate, commissioners approved the $40 tax increase on every registered vehicle in the county.

$30 will go toward the county’s general fund and $10 will go to public safety.

Monday night’s decision means Hawkins County’s budget is balanced.

Budget Committee Chairman Stacy Vaughn told News Channel 11 Monday he’s aware of a petition that is circulating to put the wheel tax to a referendum vote, then to a special election, meaning it wouldn’t be allowed unless the voters of Hawkins County approved it. Vaughn said if the petition receives over 1,000 signatures in 30 days it could be considered.

Vaughn said without a wheel tax increase a property tax hike will be the only option to balance the budget.

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