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Bradley County property tax or wheel tax as only solution? Are you kidding?

In Government on March 15, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Commissioner Caywood and Councilman Estes state we need a Property tax if not a Wheel tax!

When does it stop? Why is it that the first solution for our elected officials is to go deep into the pockets of it’s citizens?

Bradley Countians and Clevelanders are suffering and our current leaders are turning us around and putting the proverbial tax knife in the center of our backs!

In sure from their vantage point they don’t see the people hurting! I know personally families that are one check, one more tax from being homeless and on the street! The financial burden of this and more taxes in the horizon are going to place many in our county on the road to a socialist utopia, welfare and total dependence on the governement for cheese and a loaf of bread!

The fake president is doing it in DC, why not continue that effort at the local level! Many in Cleveland/Bradley County are at or below the poverty level! Every school, but one is a Title 1 program, meaning that we are at a certain poverty level in our community to accept federal grants!

We gave just suffered two of the strongest tornado disasters in our history with more than 600 homes destroyed and countless others ruined and many dead! Now, as we are awakening out of this disaster the people begin looking up and all we can see on the horizon is a Wheel Tax or a Property Tax ? You have got to be kidding me?

When will out elected officials get the message? I recently encouraged one of our commissioners to take me up on a challenge! Everywhere you go today, downtown, grocery store, in your community simply ask everyone you come across for 32 dollars! All ages, sizes, income levels, ask them for 32 dollars! See just how hard it would be for most to cough up that 32 dollars, being the equivalent of the Wheel Tax! I told the Commissioner that by the end of the day he or she would be crying and a Wheel tax would no longer be on the table!

Guys we are facing one of the toughest times in our country economically and instead of our elected officials from Mayor to Mayor, from City Council to County Commission making it easier on you, they are deciding that as a plan B, if the Wheel Tax gets turned down by the people, a Property tax will be levied upon you with the additional risk of losing your home on the line! God forbid? Where is the human side to all these decisions by our locally elected officials?

At one point do we say enough is enough! For all accounts and purposes the Property tax can be put to a referendum also! The will of the people can and will be enforced!

Another proposal out there and will be touched on in another blog is this! I feel there is a conflict of interest between certain members of our elected body and their connections to the local school system! The boards, council and commission are stocked full of people with a vested interest in their decisions! You know who you are and you are many, pull your self out of the tax talk. I believe a conflict of interest resides within our governing bodies! Pull your self out of the debate as you should! Taxing the citizens with a bias is not good practice! Hmmm food for thought!

A quick solution to our problems may be to ask the people who don’t belong in the current school zone area they are attending to politely go to the area they are zoned for! I hear this will take care of the overcrowding problem! I hear 200 to 300 kids are in our system that belong to systems outside the county and even the state! That would solve the overcrowding issue and nullify the need for 8 pods at a local high school! Just thinking out loud here in blogger world! Hate to discuss and perhaps over step my blogger boundaries!

Read the article below and look at the interactions between them! Absolutely not one person speaking up for “Joe Citizen!”

Take a look at the picture I’m guessing was taken at Lake Forest, with the cabinet door taken off and dangling from particle board! Think it is high time a group of citizen volunteers take up hammer and nail and fix those 40 million dollar cabinets! How about it? A citizen repair and maintenance team is on the way! Sound good ? Contact me or comment below if you have cabinet repair skills?

http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/mar/15/bradley-officials-weigh-school-needs/?local

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Members of four Bradley County elected bodies met over lunch Wednesday to hash out how to pay for about $38 million in immediate schools needs.

The Bradley County Schools system has a short list of needs that amounts to about $26 million.

“We have building needs, and one of them is Lake Forest [Middle School],” said county school board Chairman Charlie Rose, who taught at Lake Forest for 30 years. “It is a maintenance nightmare.”

The school, which opened in 1976 and was built for elementary and middle school students, includes 17 buildings. County officials want to replace the academic buildings with one large classroom building and keep the remaining buildings, including the gymnasium and cafeteria.

Overcrowding

They also want more space at Walker Valley High School. Built for 1,200 students, it now has more than 1,500. And officials want to replace Blue Springs Elementary School, lost in the 2011 tornadoes, Rose said.

Members of the Cleveland City Council, the Bradley County Commission and the city and county school boards talked about the needs during the roundtable at the Mountain View Inn.

“This is one issue where we are really joined at the hip,” Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said in his opening remarks.

Fast population growth is fueling the immediate need for another elementary school in the city system, Director Martin Ringstaff said.

“Rezoning is not the answer,” he said. “You can’t rezone overcrowded schools into other overcrowded schools.”

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Push for wheel tax

County Commission Chairman Louie Alford said the solution is passage of a $32 wheel tax in August by county voters.

“If that goes through, it should give us some additional money for some of these projects and pay down the school debt,” Alford said.

Commissioner Jeff Morelock said a $32 wheel tax will not generate enough income to do all that.

A property tax increase of a few cents would be cheaper for taxpayers and generate the needed money, City Councilman Bill Estes said.

In response to a question about what would happen if voters turn down the wheel tax, Alford said, “There is no plan B.”

Commissioner Terry Caywood said the next alternative is a property tax increase.

Commissioner Jeff Yarber then noted that the City Council “has the power to raise its own property taxes.”

Others said all four elected bodies should get behind selling the wheel tax to the public, and Councilman Dale Hughes said each should approve a resolution saying that.

But those resolutions should tell voters exactly how the money would be spent, whether on immediate needs or to pay down the county’s $65 million school debt, city school board member Dawn Robinson said.

Commissioner Adam Lowe said some voters in his district see paying down the debt as an immediate need, too, .

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.

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” 12 month grassroots property tax plan” introduced to Bradley Countians

In Government on December 19, 2011 at 6:21 AM

Ok! I’m going to say what I have ridiculed my teenagers for having said on many occasions, but I will admit now I know why they say it! OMG! Oh My Gosh! For lack of a better word it kinda fits when you really don’t know what else to say!

The Bradley County monthly tax plan to repay your taxes! A “12 month payment plan” has been devised to help you pay your taxes so you will not get behind and lose your home, thus avoiding that lump sum at years end!

They are calling this a grassroots plan, a plan that has no other alternative! When I think grassroots, I generally think about something besides a “government courtesy plan as a way to pay your taxes!” Im odd like that I guess! Oh well!

We thought the airplane or the diesel engine was a good thing? Not hardly! County Trustee Mike Smith has rolled out the highly popular, highly sought after 12 month tax payment plan that is going to save the county from bankruptcy!

Those taxes you owe, guess what? They have become so darn expensive we are going to let you cut it up into 12 monthly payments and make little ole bitty payments so your tax burden won’t seem so large! After all for that tax burden of 1200 dollars a year is NOW only 100 dollars a month! Seems like a real steal when you think of it this way! Who would not rather pay 100 dollars a month instead of that big ole year end payment of 1200 dollars, whew, this grassroots movement is already making my payments manageable! Thank you trustee Smith! I am so glad the government has got my back! (please note if the sarcasm is a little heavy, close the page I guess and read something else)

Just think when that monthly payment gets raised to 150.00 dollars a month you will hardly notice! Who ever said the government is out of touch with the general populace have never seen this plan, duuuuuh!

The reason this “grassroots” movement is so awesome and so largely popular with the taxpayers (less than 300 are enrolled, but growing) is the government can throw in a big ole tax increase and you will barely recognize it, in fact in a few years those monthly 100 dollar payments will seem like a god send when they finally put that debt burden on you to support all the multi billion dollar plans our elected officials have for you, but have no way to pay for them!

Where else but in America can you lose your job at (the current rate for Bradley County close to 10 percent), get an unemployment check and still be asked to take from that measely check or even take from a side job where you put on a roof all day just to sustain life and yet make a monthly payment on your taxes just to keep your home! Think about how helpful the government is being to you with this truly grassroots payment! Taking food from you and your kids mouths (truly a grassroots movement) all the while paying that little bitty 100 dollar tax payment a month! Wow! Thanks guys, you are A OK!

I am starting to get warm all over and my brow is damp with perspiration from the gratitude I feel that this grassroots plan has helped me tremendously! I will never be able to thank you enough! Wow!

Thank God for this “grassroots” movement to allow you to pay in 12 month increments instead of one big payment at years end!

I’m telling you Bradley County, without the local government working with you so diligently and out of respect for your property rights, you might lose that house you grew up in!

Kudos out to all the people in government who are taking care of us! A great big hug to all the government bureaucrats that have “your” best interests in mind! The giving hand of our local government never quits extending that hand of caring! I get goose bumps every time the federal, state or local government wants to help me with paying my taxes!

Thank you Mr Smith for helping me help you reach your year end goal of collecting enough money to meet your year end goal of revenue for the County! I am so glad this grassroots connection is working out for you, of course so you can help all the citizens out who are paying out way too much money already in the form of taxes!

Keep working on all these plans! Someone somewhere is very proud of your effort! Who knows you may even get an award at the end of the year as tax collector of the year, shoot, maybe even a few of our state representatives will then come and ask you for some of that free money so they can build something else in Bradley County to promote something else we don’t want so an ego can be stroked so everyone will feel good around Christmas! For now Bradley Countians enjoy the lower tax burden, because it is fixin to go through the roof! Do you see the pattern? With every hand of assistance you get from the government, it’s one more dollar they want to pull from your paycheck!

News source: Links below!
http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/167I56604/article-A-grassroots-tax-plan?

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/16756117/article-Tax-plan-sign-up-deadline-is-Friday-?instance=latest_articles

40 million Wheel or Property tax proposed by Bradley County Commissioners

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2011 at 3:36 PM

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/16468322/article-Wheel-Tax-an-option-to-fund-school-projects?instance=homefirstleft

This email is to inform quickly that once again it appears the will of the people is being circumvented for expediency and a new tax burden is going to be place on you!

The Bradley County Commission, Mayors and the Finance committee has once again, it appears, to be leaning toward a 40,000,000.00 (million) plus dollar Wheel tax to be imposed on the citizens of Bradley County in a very down economy!

This amount is being discussed and a few have suggested this amount be doubled so that future projects can also be included, “this avoiding repeated new taxes” , “just one big tax so we can pay for several things on the agenda!”

Tennessee annotated code suggests that the the County Commission can either vote line item up or down with 10 of the 14 Commissioners approving the proposal or it can go to a referendum and the PEOPLE DECIDE! 

At first glance and with comments posted in the banner it appears that the commission is leaning toward a vote among themselves “because it is quicker!”

I don’t know about you but I don’t want any commissioner or Mayor  representing me that will simply elect to vote for a 40 million dollar plus tax on it’s citizens because it is quicker!!!

If our locally elected officials do indeed choose to move forward on this vote and approve the large tax,  the road is more difficult but it can still go to a referendum with a signature ballot with  10 percent of the populace signing to force it to referendum (for you to vote on it)!

I personally feel that if the commission elects to go forward with a vote and once again bypass their constituency and we have to go with a signature ballot to have our voice heard then I don’t see it as an impossibility at that time to move forward with a recall effort of our elected representatives as this would definitely send a strong message that the people of Bradley County do not need another large tax and it’s citizens must be represented!

The other option they went on to discuss in this meeting was that if the wheel tax didnt go forward a property tax would be inevitable! Are you kidding me? A wheel tax or a property tax? Where is the problem solving here? The easy and only solution is to tax the good citizens of Bradley County for years to come? Come on!

Let me remind you that 60 percent, 60 percent of our current county budget is sent to the Bradley County Schools and now it appears that more is being requested!

This will not be the only tax imposed! I have been squawking about this growth plan, the Regional Growth plan which calls for infrastructure costs, sewer, roads, 10 to 20 new schools, new buildings etc, etc, etc! THE CITY AND THE COUNTY WILL BE ASKING YOU TO PAY FOR THIS IN MANY MORE MULTIPLE TAXES UPON TOP OF TAXES IN THE NEAR FUTURE! THIS WILL NOT BE THE ONLY TAX INCREASE! 

People of Bradley County you are not being represented here! The best interest of this county and city is not being represented by our elected officials! We are more worried about receiving “free” federal grant money than the citizens of Bradley and Cleveland feeding their own families!

Stay tuned for more info as this develops! We must act quickly because a runaway government is galloping on the proverbial tax horse through Bradley County and Cleveland with little to no representation from us the taxpayer!

The true tragedy of this is that warning sirens have been going off for a long time around here! The elected officials have been informed, the citizens have been informed of the potential costs of their reckless growth plans and lack of budgetary planning and yet our representatives have chosen to ignore this fact and take more of your money and bypass you the citizen and their constituency!

We must move forward quickly! 

Get their phones ringing! The rubber meets the road now! I have listened for years now as many have said that if it comes down to a new tax, “they will hear from me” well, that time is here and now is the time to act! Don’t delay! 

The best and most effective thing you can do immediately is to inform others! Pass this email along to all you know! P the people must be heard! It will not stop with this one tax, guaranteed!!

Call your elected local representative today and tell them “NO” on this new tax or any future taxes as they seem are inevitable!

Donny Harwood
“less taxes, less government, more freedom”
http://www.teapartyofbradleycounty.webs.com
http://www.bradleycountynews.wordpress.com
423-284-4250

Property tax, Wheel Tax, PILOT money, “only” options to funding Bradley County School projects

In Schools on August 24, 2011 at 8:56 AM

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.

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