Work session photo

At the Trousdale County Commission work session on Monday night, county attorney Branden Bellar facilitated a discussion regarding funding options for upcoming projects, including a new jail, in Trousdale County.

The Trousdale County Commission held a work session on Monday night at the Hartsville-Trousdale County Community Center, embarking on a rather lengthy discussion regarding the option of a wheel tax to fund a new jail and other upcoming projects in Trousdale County.

Although a vote pertaining to the tax is not planned for its upcoming meeting, the commission knows that it has some difficult decisions to make in the not-so-distant future.

“When you chose to be elected to this seat, you realize that there are going to be some challenges coming our way,” said Trousdale County commissioner Landon Gulley. “We are faced with some very hard decisions in the very near future.”

Trousdale County Attorney Branden Bellar added, “Talking about wheel taxes is something that’s not a fun thing for a commission. It’s not a topic we like to discuss, but we have several projects that are on the horizon. The one that’s been the foremost topic lately is the jail. Of course, you know at some point you have to fund that, but it’s not an easy project to fund.”

While the wheel tax has been the recent focus for funding options for the new jail, according to Bellar, the county should also explore other possibilities, including a combination of funding options.

“(The county can do) a combination of wheel tax, of property tax, and of sales tax,” said Bellar. “I’ve seen that as well. Those are all options that are available, so it’s not exclusively a wheel tax.”

Although it is not likely that a decision will be made this year regarding new taxes, Gulley encouraged fellow commissioners to diligently consider how tax dollars are spent.

“What is perfect ... I don’t know,” said Gulley. “But what I do know is that we are faced with some challenges that we are going to have to look at and take on. I do think that this county spends its money very diligently, and I hope each and every (commission) member is very diligently thinking about how dollars are spent.”

Bellar added, “It (the wheel tax) is not a proposal to be tacked on anytime soon. At some point, there is going to have to be a decision made on taxation issues.”

The county commission plans on revisiting funding options for upcoming projects at some point in the near future.

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