Tag Archives: luttrell

Memphis, Shelby Mayors Give Legislators a Wish List

Mayors A C Wharton and Mark Luttrell asked state lawmakers Monday to expand prekindergarten and infant mortality programs and to approve tax incentives for businesses helping their employees pay their own college tuition. The Commercial Appeal says they also hope to increase fines for illegal commercial-waste dumping.
The Memphis and Shelby County mayors joined other local government officials and mayors of the suburban cities in presenting their requests for state legislative action and funding to the Shelby County legislative delegation. The 2013 legislative session opens Jan. 8.
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, who spoke on behalf of the suburban cities, said the cities will be “closely watching” school legislation but gave no indication to the state lawmakers whether they will pursue further legislative action on new municipal school districts.
McDonald told reporters after the meeting that suburban leaders are meeting with their attorneys this week to begin planning their next moves following the federal court ruling last week voiding the municipal school referendums and school board elections that had been authorized by the state legislature in May.
…Wharton said current law on the illegal dumping of waste in vacant lots “is a nightmare of enforcement. They get paid to tear down buildings and dump the material on abandoned lots. These are folks who, for commercial purposes, are ruining our neighborhoods.”
The mayors said the tax incentives for tuition are needed because when businesses consider locating or expanding here, their top need is a workforce qualified to handle today’s jobs.

Shelby Commission Overrides Mayor to Set Up Sales Tax Vote

Voters in Memphis, Millington and unincorporated Shelby County will decide in November if there should be a half-cent countywide sales tax increase to help fund the county’s public schools, reports The Commercial Appeal
On Monday the Shelby County Commission overrode Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s veto of a sales-tax referendum, with an eight-vote majority.
The deciding vote was cast by Commissioner Melvin Burgess, an employee of Memphis City Schools, who received an opinion from the county attorney’s office that it was not necessary to recuse himself from voting.
“We all want a world-class education system and you have to pay,” Burgess said in support of his vote. “I believe it is our duty to put that question to the people,” he said of the referendum.
Commissioners previously had approved the referendum by seven votes at a meeting Burgess didn’t attend. Eight votes are required on the 13-member commission to override a mayoral veto.
Luttrell has insisted for weeks that a countywide sales-tax increase to fund schools was premature. The override vote was no “great surprise,” he said.
“Now it goes to the voters and the voters will make the ultimate decision,” Luttrell said.

Shelby Mayor Vetoes Sales Tax Referendum; Override Predicted

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell vetoed a referendum for a countywide sales tax increase on Thursday, but the author of the measure said he believes the County Commission will override the veto, reports The Commercial Appeal.
Commissioner Mike Ritz, who proposed the resolution to add a half-cent sales tax referendum to the November ballot, believes he has the necessary votes to override Luttrell at the commission’s Monday meeting.
“The County Commission is responsible for financing education in Shelby County and not the county mayor. I think the County Commission will do the right thing Monday,” Ritz said.
The referendum for voters in Memphis, Millington and the unincorporated areas of Shelby County was proposed to generate money for the newly created Memphis and Shelby County unified school district, which begins next year.
Under state law, voters in the county’s suburbs who approved sales tax increases in the Aug. 2 election will not be allowed to vote on the issue again. And the tax hikes in Arlington, Bartlett, Collierville, Germantown and Lakeland — towns that were hoping to fund their own municipal school districts — would be set aside if a countywide tax were to be approved.