Effective Jan. 1, folks who work in Carter County will have a new one percent tax levied against their pay checks. Fiscal court met in special session last Wednesday evening to pass the new tax on a second reading, with those present voting unanimously to do so. Magistrate Chris Huddle was not present.

The court took public comments before calling for a vote on the tax, and answered questions and concerns about the tax from their constituents.

For instance, some retired citizens were concerned about the wording of the law as it related to the taxing of money reported on 1099 forms. The court explained that individuals working as contractors, and who were paid a wage that was reported via 1099, would be responsible for remitting the one-percent tax to the county. Those who receive pension funds from military service or other retirement funds reported via 1099 are not responsible for paying the one percent tax.

The court also explained that banks, trusts and other financial institutions, as well as those who brew and sell alcoholic beverages, are exempt because they are already taxed separately for those activities.

Malone discussed the need to continue repairing roads beyond those that were covered by state rural relief funds.

“We submitted probably 15 roads that (the state) didn't pick (for assistance),” Malone explained when questioned about why more state aid wasn't available for local roads.

Malone continued by acknowledging the concerns of Carter County taxpayers, stating, “there is no fair tax.” But, he said, in addition to road needs the county will continue to see rising pension costs over the next several years.

He said that they couldn't raise the amount they expect to bring in from the new occupational tax even if they “tripled the property tax.”

Malone said that after the money is distributed to every entity who gets a share of the property taxes, the county's share amounts to only around $600,000. By contrast, the new occupational tax is expected to bring in anywhere from $1.6 million to $1.8 million in the first year.

In other action the court moved to approve claims and transfers, to accept the clerk's quarterly report, and to approve the purchase of IWorQ software for use by the road department in scheduling and tracking the costs of road repairs and improvements.

Contact the writer at jwells@journal-times.com.

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