City leaders strike down budget with higher tax

Leaders in a local city say they need more money to improve things, but people living there didn’t like the plan to get it. 

In fact, after people packed the previous Hickman budget meeting in protest, the city decided not to move forward in raising the payroll tax to 2 percent.

The increased tax rate would have generated an additional $90,000, and paid for water and sewer system updates. People living there are now trying to come up with a different plan.

John Gannon says he knows this is an opportunity his group should take advantage of. He’s part of the new, still unnamed, citizens council think tank responsible for figuring new budget figures. He says they’re going to work as diligently and quickly as possible to get a new budget for the city commission to pass.

Gannon says they’re a 20-person group invested in the community. He says since showing up to the commission meeting, it’s now in their hands to save the small working class from a tax.

“We’re trying to be as creative as we can to not go up on certain rates and taxes,” says Gannon.

Hickman City Manager Johnny McTurner says while he’s glad his city is invested, the budget carries more than numbers and impacts more lives than the council may realize. He says things the citizens don’t see, like water and sewer, are where a majority of the money is spent. McTurner says now the city is in limbo until they pass a set budget.

“You really don’t know you’re doing the right thing until the citizens come in and say ‘Hey, why are you doing this?'” says McTurner.

But the public spoke, and decisions were made.

The citizens council has until July 13 to present their ideas to the city commission.
Initially they were also going to do away with the city sticker but, because the city commission has adopted the old budget for now, the city sticker stays.

McTurner says the last time this happened in the city was about 30 years ago.

Kentucky statute allows for time to re-work a budget, as long as a city works off a prior budget.

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