Cooper Gets His Break?

A couple weeks ago, I brought you the story of Tellico Village/Cooper Communities, Wes Cooper's, objection to paying the Adequate Schools Facility Tax. Cooper maintains that the basement of his 6000 sq. ft. home in the village should not be included in the tax calculation since he does not currently plan to finish the basement. The debate centers on whether the tax should be assessed on "live able space" or "heated or cooled space." Cooper appealed his assessment to the Loudon County Board Of Zoning Appeals.

The board denied Cooper's appeal sighting the fact that since the basement area has duct work installed, it would be included in the assessment. The full Adequate Schools Facility Tax assessment for Cooper's home is $6,078.00. With out the basement assessment, the Adequate Schools Facility Tax would be $3,039.00. After the BZA rejected Cooper's appeal, Cooper threatened legal action to block collection of the assessment.

According to sources at Tellico Village, Cooper's basement, $3,039.00, has now been exempted from assessment. Unconfirmed sources say that Cooper received a letter from County Mayor Doyle Arp's legal firm, Kramer Rayson, advising him that "the county" wished to avoid any legal action, thusly his property would be reassessed excluding the basement portion of his home.

Calls to various county agencies, Planning Office, Building Inspector's Office, Mayor Arp's Office,  have produce no evidence that the Loudon County Board Of Zoning Appeals has reversed their earlier decision. The fact of the matter is, there is no county official nor other agency that can reverse the BZA's decision. Currently it is unknown on whose authority County Mayor Doyle Arp's legal firm, Kramer Rayson, was acting on when they informed Cooper of the exemption.

A special exception for Mr. Cooper could set a dangerous precedent for other builders. In fact, some have already stated that they will also be requesting the same special exception granted to Cooper by "the county" whom ever that is. If in fact any county official did give County Mayor Doyle Arp's legal firm, Kramer Rayson, direction to usurp the Loudon County Board Of Zoning Appeals decision, it would be a serious violation of the law. Stay tuned for updates.