By SARAH GRACE TAYLOR
Thompson’s Station Board of Mayor and Alderman narrowly voted to approve the county’s proposed tax-sharing agreement on Tuesday night.
The agreement says Thompson’s Station will give its portion of the revenue generated by a proposed countywide one half percent sales tax increase to Williamson County Schools for three years if the increase passes a referendum vote.
Thompson’s Station was the last of the county’s municipalities to approve a version of the agreement to help fund county schools. The referendum will soon go before county citizens for a vote on whether or not to increase the tax.
After months of discussion and a special session meeting, Thompson’s Station was considering a version of the agreement that would only be effective if the majority of the city’s voters voted in favor of the tax. Instead, the board considered a version with no such caveat.
After being seemingly opposed to the tax at the special session held last month because he feared Thompson’s Station may not benefit from giving the money to WCS, Mayor Corey Napier compared the distribution of funds to that of a federal tax.
“At the end of the day it’s about playing team ball,” Napier said. “There’s no way to perfectly, fairly divide money in the county.”
“You pay federal taxes and it’s not always distributed fairly but you still have to pay them as a country.”
Emphasizing the importance of growth without regret, dissenting Alderman Graham Shepard said he could only support the interlocal agreement if it contained the Thompson’s Station voters caveat.
“I am still willing to give the county the money, if that’s what the majority of Thompson’s Station voters want,” Shepard said.
After County Mayor Rogers Anderson told the board the referendum would not go to vote if the city decided against the interlocal agreement, Alderman Brian Stover thought the board needed to agree to be fair to the rest of the county.
“It’s not the Thompson’s Station School system,” Stover said. “This is a good thing and we need to get behind Mayor Anderson.”
After discussing an expiration date of 12 months with Anderson, the staunchly divided board voted to approve the interlocal agreement.
The vote was as follows:
In a tweet minutes after the vote, Superintendent of Williamson County Schools Mike Looney expressed his gratitude to the county for the solution.
“I appreciate Mayor Anderson’s work in getting all local municipalities to agree to let the citizens decide about school funding solutions,” Looney wrote.
You can reach Sarah Grace Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor