Like most local governments in Middle Tennessee, it looks like Rutherford County is having a hard time paying for all the growth. And when that happens, politicians look to tap for any turnip they find for blood.
That's why it's no surprise to me that a wheel tax increases has turned up like a bad penny.
The Rutherford County Public Works & Planning Commission has "discussion of a wheel tax increase" and discussion of mineral severance tax" on the agenda. Also, on the agenda is a "Solid Waste presentation Mayor Ketron" (insert joke here).
Rutherford county first enacted a wheel tax of $10 in 1970 to pay down debt on the construction of Riverdale and Oakland High schools. Over the years, the tax has increased and been divided between multiple funds with 30 percent going to the county's general fund, 30 percent to the highway fund and 40 percent to education, which is split with Murfreesboro.
The rate is currently $52.50 (plus the state's portion). The commission discussed a wheel tax increase just last year when they decided to raise your property taxes instead. It was last raised in 2017 when another $5 was added under the pretense of funding transportation projects.
Who knows what they are going to do this time? All I know is they shouldn't raise property taxes again.
As for the "mineral severance tax," these taxes are assessed on natural resources that are taken from the earth, like coal, oil, gas, ores and other minerals.
This tax is imposed on the person or company severing natural resources from the soil or water of the state. Arond here, it probably means rock quarries. We don't have much oil, gas or coal around these parts.
The Rutherford County Public Works & Planning Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. tonight (Dec. 3) in room 205 of the Historic Courthouse.