Metro Budget passes final reading by a vote of 11-4

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Council passed the third and final reading of the 2021-22 Metro Budget during Monday night’s special session by a 11-4 margin.

Citizens object to proposed tax levy during public hearing

During the Public Hearing prior to the special session, four citizens stood up to speak against the $2.295 rate. To hear the August 2 Metro Budget Public Hearing in its entirety, click the audio link below.

Dan Boshears stood up stating that the tax levy as proposed would hurt others like him in the community who live on fixed incomes. Boshears went on to suggest that Metro layoff employees or cut employee hours to reduce spending.

“If y’all adopt this budget, I’ve got to find $400 dollars,” he said. “This county is going is full of other retired people on fixed incomes. Where are we supposed to come up with this extra money?”

Next up was Laurence Naumann a four year resident of Moore County. During his comments, he stated that he resented what he considered increased spending and especially Metro’s plan to rotate out vehicles every two years.

“I see all the new vehicles running around this county and every two years were going to buy new vehicles, where is all the money going to come from,” he asked. “We need more revenue, so go get it from the tax payer.”

Scott Moore of the Second District also asked to be heard. Moore specifically objected to increased hours in the Mayor’s office. At one point, Moore used the name of a specific Metro employee’s to make his point and was stopped by Metro Council Chair Denning Harder.

“Let’s not get personal here sir,” Harder said. “Please be respectful of people. This [public hearing] is for the tax rate and budget not to personally attack people.”

The last to speak was William Patton of the Third District opened his remarks by stating, “that as I went through all these numbers, I realized one thing. The members proposing expenditure and property tax increases just don’t care. They’ve looked around and decided they want to spend more, and since we want to spend more, you are going to pay more.”

Patton stated that he relocated to Moore County because of its small government.

“Over the last couple of years, this Council’s decided to create positions that I do not believe are necessary in a town of 3,500 household and 6,500 residents,” he said.

After his comments, Chairman Harder closed the Public Hearing.

Council rejects $2.16 certified tax rate

During the Special Session meeting Tommy Brown once again made a motion to amended and lower the tax levy to the state comptroller certified state rate of $2.16. That motion failed by a 5-10 margin with Moses, Brown, Moorehead, Hawkins, and Blackburn voting for the $2.16 rate and Harder, Burnett, Bailey, Shane Taylor, John Taylor, Lindsey, Dye, Bobo, Millsaps, and Cashion voting no.

To hear the August 2 Metro Budget Public Hearing in its entirety, click the audio link below:

Since his amended rate failed, the vote automatically returned to the original $2.295 rate submitted from the Metro Budget Committee. It passed by a final votes of 11-4.

Members Denning Harder, Gerald Burnett, Meghan Bailey, Shane Taylor, John Taylor Houston Lindsey, Wayne Hawkins, Bradley Dye, Arvis Bobo, Gordon Millsaps, and Amy Cashion voted in favor of motion to pass the budget with a tax levy of $2.295. Members Keith Moses, Peggy Sue Blackburn, Sunny Ray Moorehead, and Tommy Brown all voted against.

The Metro Moore County Council will hold it’s next public meeting on Monday, August 16.•

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