Blount County voters decide to raise sales tax

Blount County voters decide to raise sales tax

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Voters in Blount County voted Tuesday to raise their sales tax from 9.25 percent to 9.75 percent.

The measure passed by a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent, or 7,770 to 4,033 votes.

Only county residents could vote on this issue because Maryville and Alcoa already charge 9.75 percent. If passed, it would be the highest rate allowed in the state.    

Essentially, if you spent $10 at a restaurant in the county, you would pay an additional five cents in sales tax. 

That money would be split. Half would go to county schools, with the rest to Blount County's debt. 

6 News spoke with some residents Tuesday about the spike in sales tax before the measure passed.

"I'm actually pretty excited about it as long as they spend the money for the kids. Then I'll be very excited about getting the increase," said Eric O'Dell.

"A little now, a little later and a little later. It just keeps getting higher and higher. Folks are struggling. I don't know where it's going to end," said Ronald Goddard.

"If we can get some money back into our county schools, it'll probably end up being worth it in the long run. My four grandkids go to county schools, and I have three other that go to county schools and schools need it, teachers need it," said Carol Andrews.

County leaders say Blount County residents are already spending that money. They estimate 83 percent of all sales tax is collected inside the cities of Alcoa and Maryville.
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