Carter County

Commission overrides mayor's budget veto

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - Carter County now has a budget after a week of uncertainty.

The County Commission voted to override the mayor's veto on Thursday, approving the version they had already passed.

The budget includes a 12 cent property tax increase to help pay for the $800,000 the county is borrowing to start work on a new middle school.

Mayor Leon Humphrey told us a tax increase could've been avoided with cuts to the general fund.

The commission has decided to move money in and out of the debt service instead.

Humphrey vetoed this budget last week saying the commission violated state law by changing the amount of tax money going to debt service, after the budget committee had already passed a tax rate.

Humphrey told us he hasn't changed his mind.

"A major injustice took place today and it's obvious to me, painfully obvious, that this commission is not working for what's in the best interest of the tax payer in this county," said Humphrey.

The chairman of the commission, Tom Bowers, told us they followed all state laws.

Bowers also said that Humphrey didn't give very much input during budget talks.

"We had like 14 meetings of the budget committee, during workshop he never spoke," said Bowers. "He never offered a plan."

We also talked to Director of Schools, Dr. Kevin Ward. He told us they're using 23 modular classrooms right now that will be moved into the new school once it's completed. Ward said he's happy with the vote.

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