Mayor Coppinger pleads case for new sales tax agreement

Mayor Coppinger pleads case for new sales tax agreement

April 4th, 2011 by Adam Crisp in Local - Breaking News

In this file photo Jim Coppinger speaks to reporters after taking the oath of office to become Hamilton County Mayor on Jan. 11, 2011.

Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger today said the county is planning a second draft of a new city-county sales tax agreement, and he hopes terms of that document will allow the county and city to share sales tax money to fund specific agencies.

Speaking before the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Health Council, Coppinger said he wants to preserve joint funding for four agencies in the new agreement: the health department, Erlanger hospital, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency and Hamilton County Emergency Services.

"The city mayor has made it clear that he wants this agreement to expire, so a new agreement we don't expect will look anything like the current one," Coppinger said. "But we really want a new agreement to address some of the specific concerns such as the health department."

Coppinger said the two governments need to come to agreement before the current agreement expires next month so that jointly funded agencies can continue to receive funding into the next fiscal year.

The agreement distributes sales tax revenue collected in Hamilton County and its municipalities.

The county stands to lose more than $10 million if the agreement is allowed to sunset.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.