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Montgomery County commissioners cut funding to the United Way

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 20:36:11-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Montgomery County Commissioners decided to cut funding to the United Way of the Greater Clarskville Area.

The decision came as a surprise to the CEO of the non-profit. They were receiving $130,000 from the county.

"I was shocked, I was like wow um my first response is, 'If we had to reallocate how much funding would I take from each agency? What would that look like? What would the impact be?'" Valerie Guzman said, "I just wish I knew ahead of time that we weren't getting it."

County Commissioner Joshua Beal voted in favor of the funding cut. He feels his constituents are taxed enough.

"I want to make the record clear and say that I am all for charitable work, I volunteer my private money and time as well, I'm involved with several local non-profits, but I cannot ask taxpayers to continue subsidizing that," Beal said.

Beal said taxpayers are about to be slapped with a nearly 16% property tax hike as well.

"If we're asking folks to pay more taxes, I think we need to be good stewards with our money, and not spend money on what we shouldn't be spending money on," Beal said.

County Mayor Jim Durrett was against it. He said it's a travesty, and there are other big ticket items that could have been cut.

"I'm really disappointed that was made, that's about a quarter of a penny on our tax rate," Durrett said.

The United Way is going to ramp up their fund-raising efforts so the community doesn't suffer.

"Is it very impactful? Yea. Is it life-changing? A little bit. But are we survivors? Absolutely," Guzman said.

If you would like to help, you can find out more here.