The local citizens committee which seeks to place a Jackson city income tax on the citywide election ballot, rather than have the tax be imposed, has filed referendum petitions at the Jackson city auditor's office.
John Peters, who is a member of the four-person committee circulating the referendum petitions, announced the referendum petitions had been filed while speaking at the Tuesday night, Jan. 2 meeting of Jackson City Council's Police, Fire and Traffic Committee. The other members of the referendum committee are Megan Peters, Kida Newell and Marva Colby.
"I'm not for or against the income tax, but I am for letting the citizens vote on it," Peters declared at the Jan. 2 meeting of the Police, Fire and Traffic Committee.
After the council committee meeting, City Auditor Brett Reed confirmed that Mr. Peters had filed the referendum petitions at 1 p.m. that same day. Reed stated it was his understanding that the referendum petitions are to be available at his office for public inspection for 10 working days. The address of the city auditor's office is 319 Walnut St. in Jackson.
After that period ends, the referendum petitions are to go to the Jackson County Elections Office where the signatures will be reviewed and ruled upon within 10 days by elections officials.
For the referendum to be successful, the petitions must have 137 signatures of registered voters who must reside in the city of Jackson. According to City Auditor Reed, the petitions have 235 signatures.
If there are at least 137 valid signatures on the petitions, the referendum action would be successful in voiding Jackson City Council's previous vote to impose a 1 percent city income tax and would instead place the same income tax issue on the citywide ballot in the November 2018 general election.
During its meeting of Monday, Dec. 18, Jackson City Council voted 4-3 to impose a 1 percent city income tax with all the revenue designated for the police department. However, the 4-3 vote breakdown on the income tax imposition and the resulting lack of an emergency clause left the ordinance open to a referendum action.