Sequatchie County voters overwhelmingly shot down a wheel tax referendum in a special election on Tuesday.
Election Commission reports show voters kicked the wheel tax to the curb by a landslide, 1,033 to 355, with almost 75 percent of voters rejecting the measure. The same tilt was reflected in early voting with almost 70 percent of voters saying no to the tax.
County Commissioners passed the final reading of a wheel tax referendum 13-1 on May 20 which was followed by a successful petition circulated among registered voters to place the measure on the ballot.
Officials said a $20 wheel tax would have generated the money to cover anticipated increased insurance costs for county employees under the federal Affordable Health Care Act estimated to stand at around $300,000 a year. About 70 of the county's 120 employees will have to be insured, officials estimated.
Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...