A sales tax increase in Maryville would generate approximately $2.5 million per year.
(WBIR-Maryville) Voters in Maryville are voicing their opinions on the possibility of a sales tax increase.
The city is proposing half a percent sales tax increase, moving the rate from 9.25% to 9.75%.
"I think it's high enough but that's just my opinion," said Tom Patty, a Maryville resident.
Donna Johnson-Simerli disagreed saying, "If it goes up, it goes up but I don't think we'd feel it much."
City Manager Greg McClain said not raising property taxes in five years, and not raising the local option sales tax since 1980, has come at a price.
"We knew we were doing that, hoping the economy would turn around and that revenues would begin to come in but that still continues to be sluggish. What we find... is having catastrophic failures in some of our key equipment," McClain said.
The increase would generate approximately $2.5 million more each year. Half of the money would fund city projects, like repairs needed at John Sevier Park.
"It's pool house is really in terrible shape. It's roof literally leaks throughout the whole facility and that's one of those that if we don't do something pretty quick, we're just going to lose the whole building," McClain said.
The other half generated from the sales tax increase would go to the schools.
"They don't have enough money for anything. The teachers are pulling out of their own pocket. Teachers do not make enough as it is," said Kathi Kazer, a Maryville resident whose son is a senior at William Blount High School.
But Joshua Scaife is hesitant. He lives in Alcoa but shops in Maryville almost every day.
"It's already hard when you look at your paycheck and they're taking $45. It's just tax, tax, tax, everybody going tax crazy," Scaife said.
Earlier in the week city council had a first reading of the ordinance. A second reading is expected to happen on September 3, followed by a city council vote on whether or not to hold a referendum.
If Maryville did hold a referendum on the sales tax increase, McClain said it would most likely happen during the November election.