MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The business of sin is off the table for now with the Memphis City Council, unless you believe a sales tax increase is a sin.
Council members will now wait for a year to discuss the possibility of setting up an adult entertainment district, but they took the first steps toward having you vote on whether you want to raise the sales tax to 10 percent.
Half of a percent doesn't sound like much of an increase, but that little increase would make Memphis as a city with one of the highest sales tax rates in the state.
Councilman Shea Flinn say honesty is the best policy, so Flinn says let's be honest. This is a city that is in horrible financial shape right now, and things are looking worse for the next few years.
He says there are three possible solutions. "We can raise our sales tax. The second one, we can raise our property tax. The third one is we can have cuts in government," he said."
His plan has nothing to do with this year's budget, this is all for the future. Those cuts he's talking about, these aren't going to be your run of the mill cuts, Flinn says.
"This is going to impact public safety. That's not a scare tactic. That's fact."
This time, he wants you folks to have a say in your own future. He wants to have people in Memphis vote this November on whether they want a sales tax increase.
A sales tax doesn't discriminate, it just hits poor folks tougher than rich people.
Flinn says, "If they don't want this, then we are staring down the barrel of a property tax increase or significant cuts. There is no other answer."
What he is saying is if people vote against raising the sales tax, then city council members can say it's not their fault they have to raise property taxes or slash government to the bone.
To top it all off, Councilman Joe Brown says the whole plan doesn't make sense. "I don't know many people that are going to tax themselves," he said.
Flinn says the sales tax would end up pumping more than $47 million into the city's bank accounts. It would be a way to raise money without hitting up property owners again.