Commission fails two-vote procedure as resolution for future tax increase

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – An effort by Commissioner Tim Boyd to pass a resolution on voting procedures failed at this morning’s meeting, though it resulted in an unusual response from the other members before the session was over.

Last month Mayor Coppinger and most of the Hamilton County Commission determined that some property owners will see a tax increase this year.

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District 8 Commissioner Tim Boyd was the only Commissioner to vote against the tax increase. Looking for support, he proposed a new plan to his colleagues that would require commissioners to vote twice for future tax increases, arguing that a two-vote procedure would give the general public an opportunity to speak out before the final vote.

Boyd was left with disappointment after the commission decided to fail his resolution on the proposed voting procedures.

He said, “It uh, is a very sad day for the taxpayers in Hamilton County and it’s hard for me to believe this body will not stand up for the most basic elements of transparency and good government. And on this such a simple proposal, I really believe my fellow commissioners would have at least had enough respect to have a deliberation of two votes for a tax increase.”

Other commission members took Boyd’s comments as a challenge.

Commissioner Joe Graham responded, ” … I applaud you for bringing it up for discussion, because anything worthy of discussion should be happening right here. So I applaud you for that, but to belittle us or to attack us because we didn’t agree with you, that,sir, is just wrong.”

Commissioner Greg Beck urged other members to address their remarks to the chairman, and not to each other.

He stated, ” We always talk about what the other commissioners used to do…up here on this commission. We had a lot of respect for each other. And if we had disagreements, they were back in the back..they weren’t out here on the floor.”

Commissioner Sebrena Smedley weighed in on the conversation by confirming current voting procedures.

Smedley said, “If we need more time in the future on any resolution whether its a tax increase or anything else. We don’t feel prepared to vote, we can either delay that vote or table it. Is that correct?”

Despite the opposition, Boyd insists that the commission did not leave enough time for public comment before this tax increase.