An Appeal To County Commission

To my friends and former fellow commissioners,

I hope my communication finds you well and that it is taken in the spirit of support that it is intended.

This Monday, 8/4/08 the commission will be faced with the potential of raising the property tax rate for property owners of Loudon County. I would ask that you give the following some consideration as you deliberate your decision.

In 2005 either through ignorance or incompetency, an outside consultant from MTAS provided erroneous information that caused a majority of the commission to vote for a twenty-one cent property tax increase. We all now know that this information was wrong and that increase was neither needed or necessary. Yet the twenty-one cent increase is still on the books.

The current consideration for a property tax increase appears to be eight cents. The current value of a property tax penny would equate to an additional million dollars per year generated by the eight cent increase. Given the fact that the county general fund currently has nearly six million dollars in reserve funds, how can asking the tax payers for more be justified? Consider the fact that next year will be a county wide reappraisal where most property owners will see their property taxes go up. If a tax increase is passed this year, that could be back to back increases.

An eight cent property tax increase certainly will not solve the problems of the Loudon County Board Of Education and with more than twenty-five million dollars in combined county reserves, there seems to be no logical reason to hit property owners in the pocket at this time.

The state legislature has given you as commissioners the authority to raise taxes but with that authority comes the responsibility to use sound and prudent reasoning for any tax increases. The voters said no to a sales tax increase and by all accounts the voters will say no to a wheel tax and I find it hard to imagine that a majority of your constituents have asked for a property tax increase.

There could be no worse time to raise taxes on you constituents. With the cost of gas, groceries and nearly everything else skyrocketing, many tax payers just can't take any more unnecessary expenses.

Unfortunately, over the last couple of years, the county commission's reputation and credibility have come under fire for being perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a tax and spend body. The time may come when it is truly necessary to raise taxes but this is not the time. Listen to your constituents.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sent To All Commissioners Via Email.