Jackson County Commission approved two resolutions Monday that would bring in more money to the county general fund.
One being increasing litigation taxes, and the other levying an additional litigation tax. County Mayor Randy Heady said that the idea behind the move stems from finding a revenue stream the county didn’t previously have, that also doesn’t burden the average taxpayer.
“Jackson County was one of the very few counties in the state of Tennessee that don’t have one of these taxes already in place,” Heady said. “And another tax that we had to do with the court system that was at the very minimum.”
The Barrett Group Principal Donna Barrett presented the resolutions to the commissioners. She said that implementing a $20 local tax option and increasing courthouse fees from $10 to $60 could bring in some $57,000 annually for the county.
Barrett said these fees and taxes are only paid by those who go before the court. She said the estimates she’s basing these monies on come solely from collectible funds.
“I know you’ve got a percentage that is not collected or collectible,” Barrett said. “This is true hard dollars that we can see that will be collected.”
Barrett said that in 1991, counties were authorized to implement a general litigation tax of six dollars to help offset the cost of a state-mandated judge’s salary.
“You are currently incurring out of your general fund $103,344 per general session judge salary plus additional monies for your retirement you pay into and travel that’s given,” Barrett said. “That’s a total of $112,077.38 that’s coming out of your general fund.”
Heady said that while that is restricted money, Barrett said it clears up some $32,000 in money that they currently have restricted to be used somewhere else. She said that increasing the courthouse fee some $50 would bring in about $25,000, which Heady said would be put towards debt services. He said that debt service money would be used to cover the interest costs for the county jail.
In other business, Jackson County Commission approved its redistricting plan in a unanimous vote Monday night. Heady there were minor changes made to Districts 1 through Districts 5, with no changes in District 6. He said that out of 11,617 people, just over 200 were moved.
Administrator of Elections Drew McMillan said that they will ideally notify those who have moved districts by the first of the year.
County Commission also approved a resolution urging Tennessee’s elected leaders to oppose federally proposed vaccine mandates. Heady said that while he himself does not oppose the vaccine, he supports a person’s decision to choose whether they receive it or not.