Commissioners voted three to one to opt out of the tax free weekend August 7th-9th. Voting for the proposal were Commission President Bettye Fine Collins, Commissioner William Bell and Commissioner Shelia Smoot. "The best form of leadership is to govern when times are tough. To make decisions that are not popular." says Commissioner Smoot.
The county continues to look for ways to save money ever since a judge struck down the occupational tax. This is a loss of about $75 million a year. Collins says the sales tax savings will save money and jobs. "Close to seven jobs if that $200,000 in annual salaries. So it's quite significant. 200-thousand is a whole lot of money."
Commissioner Bobby Humphryes voted against the decision,"History has proven, every time you get a tax break it does more to stimulate the economy. The raising of taxes, that's basically what we did, we raised taxes for those three days."
As you can imagine some shoppers are not happy with the vote. "I don't think it's right. Even if it's tax exempt, it's going to benefit the merchants," says Eva Perry. "I don't like it. The way they have done things down there I don't trust them anymore," says Nell Goff.