COLLIERVILLE, TN (abc24.com) - Just when you thought your wallet was safe, hold on to the pictures of those old presidents again. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is in favor of having you vote on whether to raise the sales tax.
If approved, the nickel increase would mean Memphis would have one of the highest sales taxes in the state. But, in several weeks when suburban voters decide on whether they want their own school systems, one way to pay for those schools will be to raise their sales tax.
Tennessee has the highest sales tax of any state in the country. If Memphis voters decide to pay more, the sales tax in this city would be close to ten percent of every dollar spent.
Memphis would be the highest, but with all the talk of schools in the suburbs, sales taxes will go up in places like Collierville as well.
People will drive to save. All you need to do is drive through any shopping center parking lot in DeSoto County and the evidence is everywhere.
There are a lot of Tennessee license plates that scream Shelby County. The sales tax in DeSoto County is seven percent, much less than the nine and a quarter percent currently in Memphis.
There's talk in Memphis of letting voters decide whether to raise the sales tax one half cent. It would be the highest in the state, but there could be other sales tax increases that will make communities on an even keel with Memphis; Collierville for one.
But the difference here is the sales tax increase will be used only to pay for suburban schools, if people want Collierville to have its own school system.
According to Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner, "It will generate approximately three point nine million dollars of revenue, that half cent will."
Mayor Joyner says there are no secrets in why the increase will be needed. In fact, the question will be on the ballot on August 2nd, the day suburban voters in places like Collierville, Germantown, and Millington decide whether they want to pay for their communities to start their own school systems.
Mayor Joyner doesn't think the increase will drive people to Mississippi to shop.
"That half cent will add 50 cents on a 100 dollar purchase so we don't feel like that 50 cents is going to drive anyone away from doing business in Collierville to Mississippi, or stopping people from Mississippi from going to Collierville," he said.