MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Murfreesboro high school student bothered by a property tax increase has announced his intention to run for city council.
Zach Ouellette, 17, said he is excited to launch his campaign for a spot on the Murfreesboro City Council in 2020.
"This has been a dream of mine for awhile to give back to the community through public service," said Ouellette.
Ouellette is a Murfreesboro native and a rising senior at Central Magnet School. He credited his school with sparking his interest in politics and preparing him for the campaign.
"It's taught me how to listen, how to work hard, and how to persevere," said Ouellette.
Ouellette said the idea to run for one of the three open City Council seats started with a joke from a friend, but it turned serious after council members approved a bill two weeks ago that would raise property tax by about 36% and annual trash fees by 50%.
"My biggest concern is how it will effect elderly and low income people," said Ouellette.
Ouellette says the city should look into its spending budget and reduce from there instead of raising taxes. He says residents will suffer under the increase and the tax hikes are funding things constituents don't even use.
"Right now we need to be focusing on education and infrastructure," he added. "Our city is growing so rapidly. These things are what will grow our economy."
He will turn 18 before election day, so he is eligible to run. He said he knows some voters will be skeptical of his age and lack of experience, but he hoped to win them over with his ideas and fresh perspective.
"The main thing will be going out and meeting voters and speaking about what direction they would like to see the city should go in," said Ouellette.
Ouellette said he planned to kickoff his campaign June 25. In February of 2020, he can file paperwork to put his name on the ballot. The election will be in August of 2020.
For more information on his campaign visit: https://www.facebook.com/vote4ouellette/