Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sales Tax Follies & Phillip Pettus

We've received several differing comments on how sales tax is administered in Lauderdale County. This is extremely interesting, and we are amending our previous numbers.

We previously used this state chart:

However, the city uses this formula:

We will assume the city chart is correct; however, it makes no difference in the conundrum facing Florence voters.


Rep. Phillip Pettus says county residents make purchases in Florence. They certainly do. So do Tennessee residents, Colbert County residents, etc. Shall we give them a vote in city elections? Or take away their vote in their own cities?

If we say Florence voters should lose their voting privileges in the school superintendent's race, why should they retain it in the county commission races? After all Florence has its own city government, as does Killen, Rogersville, Anderson, Lexington, and Waterloo.


Phillip Pettus also states that sales tax "is divided out by a formula." What formula? The CFO for Lauderdale schools indicates: Lauderdale County schools get two-thirds of a joint city-county one-cent sales tax. Assuming this is true, the entire one percent goes to schools. We will assume the county gets the lion's share since it doesn't benefit from any city sales tax.

Well and good, but how about personal property taxes? Other property taxes? Income taxes? Liquor and cigarette taxes? Even playing card taxes? How much of these taxes paid by Florence citizens goes to Lauderdale County schools? (We didn't include fuel taxes since those should go towards our highway system, but that is not necessarily a given.)


So Rep. Pettus is very concerned about money and votes going to the right place? Let's look at his campaign blurbs.

First we know he doesn't possess any advanced degree, certainly not a juris doctorate, and English was obviously not his best subject. Second, if Rep. Pettus is so concerned about Lauderdale County, why does he attend church in Tennessee. Yes, he says "attends." We infer someone drags him since he is not a member.

If, and it might be a big if, Pettus actually places any blunt in the collection plate, it goes to widows, orphans, etc. in Tennessee--NOT in Lauderdale County.

So, what's up with that, Rep. Pettus? We await your reply.



  1. Unfair pick on a guy's choice of church or location. A guy can pick his church crowd and least the last time I viewed the situation. Maybe they got better AC up in Tenn, or the minister is less intensive than those Bama ministers. You know how how tough it can be at Bama churches.

    1. He certainly can, but at the same time he's not supporting a Lauderdale County church, is he?