November 27, 2021

Syltel Lovely

Singularly Lovely Education

Maury County remains in limbo with a potential tax hike on the horizon

Less than a year after residents in Maury County voted to approve a sales tax increase, Maury County Public Schools shuttered a historic elementary school and is now struggling to secure funding to build more schools.

Because of continued high growth in schools and aging school buildings, the Maury County Commission is now considering a 7.23% property tax increase in order to pay for the mounting needs in MCPS, including new schools, renovations and even funding for daily operations.

Commissioners are set to discuss and vote on the proposed increase during a budget committee meeting on July 12 before it reaches the full commission.

MORE:Superintendent proposes tax referendum for school

Amid the school district’s budget crisis, the school board eliminated multiple programs and extra teaching positions from its recent 2021-22 budget proposal. During another blow, the county commission failed to pass the school board’s $85 million capital budget request last month that would fund a new high school in Spring Hill and renovations across the district. The school board will revisit the budget request before the commission’s final meeting of the fiscal year. 

MORE:Maury County votes down school board’s $85 million building plan

A countywide referendum to increase the sales tax from $2.25 to $2.75 passed in 2020, and was supported by former Superintendent Chris Marczak, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder and Maury County Alliance President Will Evans as a way to support the needs of the school district with minimal impact on residents in Maury County.

MORE:School board chair supports tax referendum in Maury County

MORE:Local opinion: Why Maury Alliance supports sales-tax referendum

Hesitations took hold following referendum 

Just days after being voted in, skepticism about the sales tax increase began to take hold with members of the public.

Many in the community, including county leaders, were concerned that members of the public were unaware that the increase would also be distributed to local municipalities.