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Posts Tagged ‘wheel tax’

Bradley County Finance Committee mulls 16 cent property tax increase

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM

The County Commission via the Finance Committee is once again discussing taxing the citizens of Bradley County Tennessee.

The “what if” by the finance committee to propose yet another tax on the citizens in light of a recent overwhelming wheel tax defeat is beyond what my somewhat simple mind can handle.

Listen to the people! We do not want another tax! We are living in tough economic times! We are hurting. Struggling to feed our families and make ends meet.

Are we so comfy in our lofty elected and appointed posts that we do not see the ramifications? Why is it that everytime we need to fix something the first and second response is to turn to the peasants for a constant stream of seemingly endless requests on our revenue stream?

Some have told me that it’s only about 50 dollars on the average home in the county. Quit looking at it as a single hit on our budgets, it cumulative and it’s more than likely permanent. This 50 dollars gets piled up on another 50 dollars etc and eventually we can’t pay it anymore and we lose our property and the rights that go with it.

I was recently asked in an email exchange from one of our elected State Representative “Why don’t you provide some solutions?” In other words, stop your bitchin and do something about it! Really? Should I, a citizen, who just cast a vote that elects you to be my representative and you tell me to provide solutions to solve the problems of our state and local governments. My response is to that scenario is either resign or don’t run again and I gaurantee you we can put a citizen in that will represent the people and act on their request. Please forgive me this morning, I woke up in a rather gripey mood and I feel an overwhelming need to apologize. This type of malarchy just sets me off.

If the best you can do is shuffle a few line item scenarios around to make it look good on paper then perhaps your rent is up and it is time to elect someone who can put it all together and get our county back on track. This is a replacement tax for Gods sake, in case the County loses the 3,000,000.00 case over a sales tax issue. This tax will not even be attributed to knocking down our current debt load, but to replace money lost! It will not help our situation one bit, it just gets us back to where we were! What an excellent opportunity to have to cut costs within our county budget. What an opportunity missed to fix our problem with big government before we tax the citizens further. That sounded original didn’t it and it looks proactive, right? Another apology for my grumpiness.

You have to be one brick shy of a load to think this will be the only tax in our future. We are facing a 4 to 10 billion dollar growth plan in our immediate future. Who do you think is going to pay for that? Let’s not also forget we have already shifted close to a million dollars to an out of state company that has at best cut out a cardboard cookie cutter county growth plan that has drawn the ire of and disapproval of 73 percent of our citizenry. We, you and our children will be the beneficiary of this debt fiasco. Oh yeah, how could we forget the county mayors stealthy 16 county, 3 state regional growth plan that is well under way. Let me mention this while I’m here and I will elaborate later, this regional growth plan will take your county, Bradley Counties tax dollars and send it to another county to help them pay for one of their projects. How you like those apples, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!

Is there some type of unspoken rule or edict that says our County has to take federal grant money in great amounts and more often than not turn around and ask the citizens to turn over increasingly greater amounts of their hard earned money? I am aware of Public Chapter 1101, but the immensity of it? Who dictates how big it has to be?

Keep in mind, I’m just a concerned citizen, with a keen sense of insight who happens to like to write. I am not a professor of finance nor a guru of all that is financial but let me ask one more question of our elected officials then I will shut up.

Why dont we fix our problems inside our own government house before we request more from the already unstable and stretched budgets of the citizenry? If someone can answer that with a logical response will get a big hug from me. Why not get our house in order first. Why not take the politics out of it and look at it from a human perspective?

King George and his court were ousted and our country reshaped some 250 years ago for this same type of behavior and blatant disregard for the people he represented. Sounds like it is time to do the same and vote these distinguished characters out of office before we can’t afford to live here anymore.

The message is simple, lean in closely, I am about to scream. NO NEW TAXES! PERIOD!

And I mockingly borrow from a quote by one our elected Mayors from the city as he screamed at me recently in one of his familiar rants, “If you are man enough,” and I add, “Put this to a referendum and let the citizens decide if they want to give you more of their hard earned money!” I am pretty sure the response will be the same as the wheel tax and the growth plan. This way it will leave you no doubt whether you are simply doing the job you were elected to do. No guilt, let the people decide for you. You know the old adage “to be representative of the people and for the people.”

Good day and I’m very curious to see if anyone mans up and steps up and not on the citizens of Bradley County Tennessee! I doubt it, but i’ve seen greater miracles.

One of the sources of info:
http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/20535126/article-County-looking-at-%E2%80%98what-if%E2%80%99-over-sales-tax?instance=homefirstleft

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Bradley County Wheel Tax dead, attention turns to those who voted for it

In Uncategorized on August 3, 2012 at 2:07 PM

It was no surprise to tax paying citizens that a 32 dollar tax didnt pass in Bradley County! The citizens of Bradley County have once again said loudly “WE DO NOT WANT NEW TAXES, PERIOD!” We live in a tough economy yet our elected officials continue to attempt to dip into the pockets of the citizens once again to fix their budget woes.

The 76 percent of Bradley Countians that voted “NO” to a new wheel tax sent a resounding and clear message to it’s elected officials that we don’t want you dipping into our pockets to fix your budget problems. Either step up and fix the problem or get out of the way. We have given you two years plus to fix it and not a solution yet!

We the people can no longer sit by as our school board and the county commission mismanage our budget and overspend just because the available line of credit is there to do so. We are millions in the hole and it is time to call these leaders out who have passively allowed our budget to get a pass just because we have called it balanced. How can you call it balanced with nearly 100 million in debt? Where did that money go? And we have no consistent plan to pay down our debt! Eventually, we run out and we go bankrupt.

Our haphazard, half way, non chalant effort to bring down our debt is lacking a definitive plan and it is way over due. In 2 years, we can start concentrating on getting representatives in our districts that will truly represent the people, not a few special interest groups that makes the politicians feel good. The people far outmeasure them and it’s about time our elected leaders listen to their voice.

The Bradley County School Board presented their wants and the Bradley County Commission voted 11-2-1 for the new tax and its time to expose these tax and spend liberals for what they truly are, liberals in disguise. In some circles these folks are called RINOs, Republicans In Name Only, except for the one known Democrat, he is just voting party line. Again, that’s my opinion!

County Commissioners Ed Elkins and Mel Griffith are the only two not supportive of a wheel tax and have gone on record several times as saying so and voted against this wheel tax.. The remaining 12 and the one that was absent for this important vote must be dealt with and shown that if you choose to tax the citizens, the people will once again vote to speak their mind. The next election will place a target on the remaining commission members and voted out of office and replaced with someone that truly cares about the people of this community!

I am already hearing rumblings that since the wheel tax didn’t pass the school board is going to re present their wants and possibly a showdown over a new property tax increase will be in our future. Who will vote for this? We will see. This can also be put to referendum, just depends where our elected officials alliances are.

We have plenty of time to put together a game plan to oust these progressive liberals, so let’s get busy! We need elected officials in office that represent the people not the few who are influenced by those that whisper in their ears to return favors or maintain a certain pseudo status in town. Those days are fading away! Time for true patriots to direct the tide back in favor of the citizens of Bradley County!

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/17754656/article-County-approves-wheel-tax-change?instance=latest_articles

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.

“Slippery slope” of taxing the poor and shifting costs to the middle is Bradley County wheel tax dilemma

In Government on February 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Have you ever walked on ice? Have you ever walked on ice in dress shoes? You know the kind with no grip! Just pure leather and once it gets cold and hard it is almost impossible to stand! Now add a grade to that, attempt to stand at the top of the hill and maintain ground! Next to impossible! Right?

Well the Bradley County Commission has once again chosen to walk the slippery path instead of just simply putting their house in order! The slippery slope (Wheel tax exemptions) has been identified and it is going to be pretty much everyone that doesn’t have a job or is making under the poverty line for income, which leaves the
middle hardworking class to foot the bill!

What do I mean? Let me attempt to tell you! We are talking about the “wheel tax”, yes the same ole tax that failed a few years ago by referendum because the commission has once again chosen to put the debt on you the citizen they are supposed to protect and represent.

We are talking of tax exemptions to be exact, who is exempt from paying the wheel tax, that slippery slope, so to speak! The term used by no less than 3 commissioners and others on a few occasions. The decision to tax the poor and impoverished or tax the working class! It seems it always one or the other, not both! Pretty much the way Washington is sticking it to the working class! Either way, a new wheel tax leaves many unhappy!

Yes folks, the first vote of the commission was to tax the poor as well as the middle and the upper incomes! ” It’s a fair tax for everyone, it’s a bold move by the education committee” as Martin Ringstaff, Director of Cleveland City Schools, has been recorded as saying in past meetings.

“We have got to show the people why we need it!” , Chairman of the School Board Charlie Rose was overheard saying also.

The people, everyone, fair tax for all! That is the problem! It shows a disconnect from the people who represent us and the people who are doing the representing! With obviously no accounting for the impact a new tax has on the repressed and unfortunate in this City and County!

While researching the raw data, in this case, the US Census data, it is easy to distinguish who the poor are in Bradley County and who by County Commission vote who will end of footing the bulk of the new wheel tax! The middle class!

Here is my version of the “slippery slope !”

The data displayed below is easily confirmed by US Census data and can easily be googled for easy verification and I will even conveniently provide a few links below at the bottom of this blog.

In Bradley county we have a few more than 98,000 people in our community. The following is a breakdown of the demographic of that population according to the latest US Census data that will either be exempt or taxed heavily with a new wheel tax.

There are 23 percent that are under the age of 18 years old, of those 16 to 18 year olds probably make less than poverty level income. So, the first people attacked are the kids! Those in high school, struggling to get gas much less another 32 dollars for a wheel tax, granted a parent may go ahead and pay but the burden is still there.

14.1 percent are over the age of 65, again on fixed incomes and hating another tax bill.

16 percent in Bradley County live below the poverty level, many of which will be those with very little expendable income. 7,740 Veterans in this county! Many of which are disabled and below the poverty line or homeless.

8 percent of the county workforce are self employed, entrepreneurs or just laborers just getting by with occasional day to day work.

3.6 percent are illegal immigrants with no defineable income and no tax status whatsoever except when they consume. 1,407 live in college dorms and are probably struggling to make ends meet and have probably registered dads or moms car in another state anyway.

2 percent are either in nursing homes, in a local jail, or are in a group home or have been deemed mentally impaired.

If my math is correct this accumulates to about 60 percent of the population of Bradley County that are poor, repressed, at poverty level income, homeless or mentally incapable of making their own decisions! Roughly 60,000 people are affected and poor!

Initially, they are the ones being targeted for yet another tax. After much talk about who is exempt or not, some talk about who in the heck are we going to tax, it now appears the bullseye is hovering over the working class, the middle income earners who are trying to make their way and rely on hard work to support our families with minimal to no assistance from the government!

You may be saying not all of them drive! This tax doesnt affect them! At one point in the year all these mentioned will need a vehicle to either go to church, the grocery store, a group outing, leisure, vacation, a doctors appointment or simply a trip to the hospital and etc! They all rely on someone else for that transportation, in most cases close family or just do gooders wanting to contribute. Many of which are in the same boat as them. So fairly, it is safe to say they are all represented by a vehicle that is getting taxed!

There are 86,000 vehicle registered in Bradley County along with 3,000 motorcycles! With those numbers, you can say that roughly 70 to 80 percent of the people in Bradley County will be affected by this tax! Although many poor will be affected, in reality, most of the working class have two or more vehicles and will receive the yearly 64 to 160 dollar wheel tax bill! Most of the tax burden!

With the median home income rate of around 39,000 dollars you can see easily how another tax lifted and placed on you will further burden a “middle incomer” causing greater harm to you, while your government reaps the benefit of you punching the clock!

The Chattanoogan reported this morning and quoting Mayor Gary Davis, “the county wide wheel tax cannot happen the way it is currently written!” Mayor Davis went on to say “you want to give tax exemptions to low income elderly using the list from the trustees office, which doesn’t include them all! There are a lot of low income elderly that live in apartments, they are not property owners. I assume you want to give all low income elderly the same exemption, but it is not addressed that way in your resolution!”

Jeff Yarber referred again to that “slippery slope” again. He said, “This is that slippery slope that I was talking about. My thought processes on that was to not use the trustees list, but to use the process that the trustee has. The burden of proof falls on the individual!” Really? The burden must fall on the citizen to prove they are poor, in-firmed, repressed or homeless to be exempt from a wheel tax!

It was even suggested at one point to go ahead and tax the poor then on the backside the poor taxpayer will have to prove to the government that they are indeed poor and then they can get reimbursed! Really? This is taxation without representation! Have you ever tried to come up with 32 dollars when you don’t have it? Come on guys! Let’s get real!

Amy Moore, said “to gather names of low income elderly would require additional county staffing!” Here the door is being opened for yet another tax!

County Chairman Louie Alford added “Once you start down that slippery slope, it’s hard to get stopped!” The slippery slope started when you decided to tax the poor, the middle class in a very down economy! The slippery slope gets slicker when bureaucrats would rather tax the peasants than make the hard decisions needed to right our problem!

After last nights meeting this resolution was suggested it get referred back to the education committee then I am assuming will come back to the commission for a revised vote!

A side note! While back in the education committee I encourage you to look at why this problem of “no money” really exists in our school system! I believe if you look methodically at the problem you will find it!
Here indeed comes that slippery slope of taxing your poor in Bradley County! These folks are struggling to stay alive! To feed their 2.8 children or more is becoming a bigger and bigger chore!

My heart reaches out to these folks! They are truly in need! They need more in one day than I may need in one year! With that said, if we further exempt certain veterans, homeless, mentally challenged, poor, poverty level, illegals immigrants the burden shifts to the middle income! Me and most of you!

While compiling this data and defending the elderly and the poor I soon realized that the majority of this wheel tax will fall on the people who are broke on a different level after the numerous exemptions are made. A lose lose for all!

Many of whom after paying bills and taxes have very little in the form of spendable income! This my friends is a shift called social engineering, a tax shift to distribute income equally among the poor! Socialist call this redistribution of wealth or social justice! Many on the commission will fade away from this acknowledgement but this exactly what it is! Taking from those that have and distributing to those who have not!

Roughly 39 percent of the population in Bradley County make 100,000 down to poverty level! About 5 percent make 150,000 or more! The shift of all the taxes to this group greatly makes the burden heavier for the middle incomers and a little harder for them to provide for their own!

Don’t fool yourself to think a family income of 100,000 is alot! With college tuition rising, groceries and mortgages to include property taxes and other taxes, very little is left over once the bills have been paid!

Wealth distribution, socialism, takes from the “rich” and gives to the poor! This seems to be the expressed mantra of our elected leaders!

A tax is a tax! A slippery slope is a slippery slope no matter how you slice it! We are facing billions more in debt because of recent “growth plans” being proposed! This will not be the only tax in our near future!

This is merely a gateway tax, a tax that only opens the door for more taxes! This in my opinion is where the slope gets really slippery! Many hard working taxpayers and citizens start slipping down that “slippery slope” of poverty because of the government placing tax after tax on it’s wage earners! One tax may not tip the scale of a middle incomer into the poverty ranks, but one thing for sure is eventually the steady stream of new taxes will eventually tilt the scale and begin the fall of a hardworking citizen. Soon, that taxpayer is punch drunk and lying on their backs looking up to the government for a handout! This is true socialism Bradley Countians! Burden the free citizen till they slip and fall, while being forced to cry out to the ones who just cut both hands off, you have socialism perfected!

The schools are asking for a few new classrooms, a new school or two and past debt in the amount of around 30 million, the city will get their share of about 12 million to help build another school, my goodness will it ever stop!

We have a school board that allows students from surrounding counties and a few states to go to school here in Bradley County, why don’t we restrict the students to the schools they are zoned for and I bet we won’t have such a big problem! I would safely say hundreds of kids are in our system that don’t belong there!

My issue is this, it seems ok to absorb all these out of state and county students till you start asking the citizens to pay for another counties financial burden with more taxes!

City Councilman Bill Estes summed this whole situation up pretty well, he said ” A wheel tax is unbelieveably regressive and hurts the poor!” But he went on to advocate for a property tax.

County Commissioner Ed Elkins has said “people are saying they would rather have a property tax than a wheel tax!”

To all listening, the majority of Bradley Countians and Clevelanders are tired of paying more and more taxes! We are tax heavy! Great percentages of our income is taxed and Bradley County is not making it any easier on us to live here!

I challenge each and everyone of you to rethink any new taxes! We are in a down economy and most everyone is struggling! The debt that education is placing on it’s citizens cannot be carried much longer. A 60 plus million dollar education debt is enough! The debt burden on the horizon in the billions will only get larger as we shift costs to the massive growth plan already in the works!

Let’s simply ask the schools to look into why they are in such debt and spending unwisely! Let’s ask them why is it that no matter what amount of money we spend on our schools we get the same mediocre results? I believe the answer is easily out in the open if someone dare look!

Let’s get all our houses in order! We are out of control! It is time we get people in office to do the work that will not be done by the ones we have chosen to represent us! The time is right!

We must take steps to save our county, put our children’s future in sight and say any decisions must be well thought out and the first response should not be to raise taxes on the poor and not shift that cost to the middle class!

NO NEW TAXES, LESS GOVERNMENT, MORE FREEDOM!

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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