Madison County has quietly proposed tax increase

Just a heads up. Madison County has quietly proposed tax increase. A “Privilege Tax” has been brought to the finance committee. It more than doubles litigation taxes.

What is litigation?

Litigation (n.) is the process of taking a case through court. The litigation or legal process is most common in civil lawsuits. In litigation, there is a plaintiff (one who brings the charge) and a defendant (one against whom the charge is brought).

CTAS refers to a ligation tax as a “popular source of revenue available to county governments is the local litigation tax. This tax may be levied on all original suits filed in general sessions, circuit, chancery and other special courts in each county but does not generally apply to juvenile proceedings. In 1981, after the General Assembly passed 1981 Public Chapter 488 which imposed a state litigation tax, the State Attorney General opined that counties may, by resolution of the county legislative body, levy a litigation tax in the same manner and in an amount not to exceed the amount of the state litigation tax.”

In addition to this ability to match state litigation taxes, Tennessee Code Annotated § 16-15-5006 specifically authorizes counties to levy an additional local litigation tax in general sessions court for the purpose of helping to fund general sessions judges’ salaries. This authorization was granted in 1988 Public Chapter 698 as part of an act that significantly increased the salaries of General Sessions Judges for terms beginning in 1990 and thereafter. As it originally passed, this supplemental tax was limited to $6.00. At that time, this amount was enough to cover the costs of the salary increases in most counties, but not quite all. Two years later, in 1990, in response to complaints from a few counties where the $6.00 did not raise enough revenue to cover the increases, the General Assembly added language to § 16-15-5006, to provide that:

If, during any fiscal year, the amount of revenue generated by the local tax enacted pursuant to [T.C.A. § 16-15-5006] does not sufficiently fund the increase in the general sessions judge’s compensation mandated by [Title 16, Chapter 15, Part 50]…, the local litigation tax may be raised to an amount more than six dollars ($6.00) necessary to fund the increases mandated by this part… provided that any increase to fund such supplement shall be adjusted annually.

So if you should happen to bring a case to court….

County Commissioner Larry Sipes commented “I will oppose it, but I need the PEOPLE to know I can’t stop it alone. ” (May 6, Wed. 9 a.m.)  Finance Dept., Hollywood, Dr. (Info. attached.)

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