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VOL. 41 | NO. 18 | Friday, May 05, 2017

What it means to straddle two counties

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Like Goodlettsville, Brentwood and a few other cities in Middle Tennessee, White House is located in two different counties. But does it really matter which side – Sumner or Robertson – a business or resident falls on?

Actually, it does.

From how they are run to key statistics in terms of crime, schools and taxes, City Administrator Gerald Herman attends meetings on both sides and says Robertson and Sumner are different.

“People want to be on the Sumner County side, but we have some big growth on the Robertson County side right now,” Herman explains.

For the Erin and Joel Robertson, schools weren’t really a factor in deciding to move to White House since Erin was teaching in Sumner County and could choose which public school their children attended. Instead, she sends them to the school where she teaches, Sumner Academy in Gallatin.

“The schools here in White house on the Robertson County side are still very good, but not necessarily all of Robertson County,” Erin says.

The Sumner schools are Harold B. Williams Elementary, White House Middle and White House High. The Robertson schools are Robert F. Woodall Elementary, White House Heritage Elementary and White House Heritage High. The private Christian Community Schools serves preschool through 12th grade.

Realtor Todd Reynolds agrees that slowly, but surely, the perception is changing that you have to live in Sumner County to attend good schools.

“This has changed over the last five years, but if you were in the Robertson County part of White House, people didn’t want that,” Reynolds says. “It had to be Sumner County but now that line is sort of gone. White House Heritage is a good high school.”

Joel Robertson says there is nothing that really led them to choose Robertson over Sumner, though there are a few things that bothered him after a few years.

“Robertson County doesn’t have the MARTA registration for cars,” Joel says. “And Robertson County has the highest wheel tax in the state. It is quite ridiculous.”

At $85.25 Robertson does have the highest tax. In Davidson it is $55, and in Sumner it is $51. Plus 95 percent of the city sales tax comes from the Robertson County side, Herman says. And the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce says that while the population is split about evenly between both counties, most retail and industrial development has occurred in Robertson.

“From US31W just to the other side of the highway is most of our business, so that helps us there,” Herman says.

-- Hollie Deese

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