At an August 15th, 2011 meeting of the Bradley County Education/Finance Committee once again have peaked its tax and spend head once again and they are asking for more from you in the form of your hard earned cash and are dead set on decreasing your quality of life.
I am doing this report a little different from previous reports and am going to put the details in a list form so the details want get overlooked in the narrative.
As you can see, we are in trouble once again and instead of us putting a plan together to decrease our debt service from the benefits of “bringing in the big Corporations” we are offsetting any benefit from our investment of millions on “big business” benefit with more debt.
I have a novel idea and don’t hit the floor when I say this, “why don’t we take the benefit ,the money, from all these Corporate giants and pay down our current county debt instead of spending it before we see it.”
I know, I know, its hard to swallow, I know what you are thinking, “you are a true genius”,it’s hard for me to be modest here, WOW, all the answers. Put a little nest egg together, I have to do it at home, why cant we expect our local officials to do the same! Get up out of the floor, its time to get busy.
Read below for yourself, these were direct quotes from the joint meeting on Monday. Try to put a money figure on every request you read and then ask, “how are we going to pay for this and what is everyone thinking when all we are doing is suggesting Tax and Spend, just as DC is doing. We are near collapse and we are still spending. This is a recipe for disaster!
The Finance/Education Committee suggestion notes!
1)Property tax increase of 14 cent as stated by Commissioner/Finance Chairman Connie Wilson
Editors note: Ok a 14 cent property tax on every 100 dollars of assessed value, currently at 1.7920 per 100 to 1.93 per 100. With this increase it would put us as one of the highest combined city/county tax rates in the state and we haven’t even gotten started yet! Now add in all the other projects below and a 10 billion plus dollar growth plan and can you see where we are going, up,up,up! It’s a cumulative effect!
Note: Check out some of the highest property taxes in the state! Where did our own Chamber of Commerces Doug Berry come from? Yes, the counties with the highest property taxes in the state, the Knoxville area! Check it out! Do your own research, and look where we are going!! http://www.comptroller1.state.tn.us/pa/LR.asp?w=10#.Tk08dS-eNFs.mailto or google Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury-Division of Property Assessments-Property tax rates, the messenger has been delivered to our area and Im afraid the result will be the same, definitely getting there.
2) A wheel tax at an unspecified amount.
Editors Note- The last one I think I remember was a tax of 23 cents ( amount based on memory, may not be completely accurate, but close) increase and it was shot down by the citizens of Bradley County, in fact 80% of all wheel taxes in TN are voted down.
3) Use of PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) money for debt service.
Editors note:Now, this suggestion surprises me the most or maybe again it doesn’t. All the “benefit to our community” of bringing in these huge corporations has been completely nullified in one fail swoop by the Board of Education. “Lets take the money made from the PILOT program and hand it over to the Board of Education instead of paying down our debt service with it!
Come on guys, we all know the schools are important and we do every thing in the County “for the kids” but I think it is high time we ask the Board of Education to make some “hard decisions”, and before you jump all over me with a “you don’t care about the kids” comment (that is a weak argument), a father of three in County schools, please, so take it somewhere else.
The argument should be lets see more results from our school board, lets show more accountability to their money managers (I doubt very few know where our money really goes), lets demand an audit of that money locally ( bet it would surprise you) , lets show we can raise our standard scores before we hand over more of your hard earned tax dollars.
Lets simply ask them where all this money is going! Think about it!
Are you still paying fees or getting sent home nasty notes from your kids schools that you haven’t made payment yet?
Are you seeing money collected from fundraising school yard sales, carnivals etc, only to see a great portion of that money go to pay for a teachers salary.
Ever seen a needs list outside the classroom with 3×5 cards to “help your teacher” get the stuff they need?
Ask a teacher how much out of pocket expenses they spend to get the things they need! It will surprise you! Hundreds, even thousands! Ask a teacher, they love their students and they would have it no other way, but they deserve better.
4) Use of property tax revenues from Wacker, Amazon, Whirlpool and the Spring Creek development.
Editors note: Another 1 million of what was supposed to be a benefit to the county only to get handed over to the vacuum called the Board of Education. Does this sound like the right thing to do, don’t you see a problem with this?
5) Morelock suggests “an in depth look at what potential borrowing power would result from this revenue” Editors note: More money from you, but this time you will be stuck with loads of tax interest that your kids will be stuck with in their future and the generation yet to come. This is not the answer!
6) orelock suggests the the County would need to borrow about 38 million dollars (many have suggested up to 50 million) to include the 33 1/3 to the City because it would be a Capital project
Editors note: Need I say more?
7) Morelock went on to suggest a plan to fund not only the schools needs but the Industrial Park Land and the Veterans Home Request as well (again multiple tens of millions of dollars)
Editors note: Again, lets not only pay for the educational system but I have a few other projects that need to be funded. When will “conflicts of interest, nepotism and cronyism be a subject of interest in local politics?”
Yes, here is another sensitive area, veterans, any attempts to make an argument here would also be a weak argument, I’m a veteran and have served my country honorably and with distinction, no doubt about the “love” I give to my fellow soldiers. There are other ways to do this and it doesn’t have to be with your tax dollars, that’s all Im saying.
8) Morelock suggests a Comprehensive Plan (one big ole tax, my interjection based on perception) rather than putting these things as separate items.
Editors note: Bundle it up, so we can get it over in one big vote, yep that will take care of this bundle, then we pay for the next, then the next and next project. It will never stop!
9) Morelock also suggests “If we do these things, some of them, its going to require a tax increase.” “I don’t see any possible way around it!”
Editors note: Mr Morelock, there are other ways, I challenge you to email me with the many ways you have explored first before you made this statement. I challenge you to show me where a committee has documented and implemented a program to do anything but raise a tax. I will keep a special place for you in my mailbox, Im waiting.
10) Education Chairman Jeff Yarber and Adam Lowe “agreed a plan includes all the projects is needed
Editors note: Im gonna challenge you a little here, show me a reason why all these projects are needed then I will further challenge you to show me where you have developed a plan to do something besides tax the citizen of Bradley County!
11) Ed Elkins said the (PILOT ) money will not be available till 2015 from the County Budget.
Editors note: I think Ed sees the writing on the wall, how do we wait till 2015, hopefully by then we will have more conservative members on these committees, council and commissions.
12) Education Chairman Jeff Yarber suggested the “committees should also consider the increase in state and federal funding that will come from increased growth in the school system.
Editors note: NOOOOO! Requesting more money from the fed and states is what has gotten us into this situation. Enough spending already.
13) Adam Lowe said he would like to see the school look at putting more money in the school systems budget each year for capital projects. Editors note: Growing government and asking for more money to be carved out to more greatly fund the schools is not the answer. Lets suggest we look at the Educational budget and see where we can cut. The many leaders who are getting wealthy would be a start.
14) Morelock also suggested the Bradley County Board of Education hold two public forums to get community input on the capital needs to aid the joint commission in its decision. (NOT A WORD UTTERED AFTER THIS MOTION) and no action was taken.
Editors note: Actually this is a pretty good plan, but I can assure you, based on prior attempts to communicate including many emails, phone calls and attendance of board meetings it is no surprise you could hear crickets when Morelock made this suggestion.
15)The immediate needs of the School Board is Land for a new middle school, construction of a new academic building at Lake Forest Middle School, at Walker Valley High School and construction of a new elementary school in the Blue Spring community.
Editors note: Remember, the original request was for solving flooding problems at Walker Valley and Lake Forest to solve flooding problems knowing the schools were built on flood plains. Then when the assessment was done and a low figure by comparison was forecasted the Board starting adding on item after item till we have a 50 million dollar price tag and a revised 5 year plan, complete with a raise request for Mr McDaniel and a glowing 5 star evaluation.
Where does it stop Bradley County?
This is only the beginning!
We have leaders currently in place all over the our County, especially to include the City Government that do not have your best interest in mind!
We are everything but in control of our government.
This current combined makeup of our local leaders (we do have some very bright spots for which I am grateful) is going to bankrupt our city and county.
Our leaders should be directing us in the right direction and they are not.
In the meantime we can call and demand change then when they are up for re-election and we simply don’t vote them in!
Its that simple!
You heard it right!
The County Education and finance committee once again suggests multiple tax increases to fund immediate future needs expressed by the County School Board.