City Officials: In lieu of taxes, please send money

Lakeland city officials sent a letter recently to residents seeking donations for “a campaign to raise additional revenues without having to implement a City tax,” reports the Commercial Appeal.
But Mayor Scott Carmichael said he disagreed with the letter’s wording regarding a possible property taxes, and emphasized there is no plan to assess one.
Other Lakeland elected officials agreed.
“We do everything in our power not to implement a property tax,” Commissioner Cecil Tompkins, also the city’s vice mayor, said. “… It is part of our appeal. It’s been that way for 33 years.”
Lakeland is the only government in Shelby County that does not have a property tax. The city depends on the county for emergency services, such as fire, police and ambulances.
Carmichael said one reason for seeking contributions was to offset revenue lost when Kroger — the biggest sales-tax contributor to Lakeland – moved (from inside Lakeland’s city limits into the city of Memphis). …Carmichael said Friday officials believe the unplanned loss in revenues is about $380,000 to $390,000 — or 8 to 10 percent of the city’s $4.2 million in projected revenues for fiscal 2012, according to budget figures.

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