Games We Play
|As the drama of the budget process continues, it appears the Loudon
County School Board is determined to squeeze the tax payers for all they
can. In the past, the county budget committee and the school board
played a silly game where the school board would sent down a budget that
was so ridiculous they knew the budget committee would never approve it
and would send it back to the school board. The board would then reduce
it a little and send it back whereas the budget committee would send it
back and so on and so on till the board would finally get less than they
wanted but more than they needed.
This year, the budget committee decided not to play the game. The committee approved the first budget they sent down that would be more than two million dollars over budget. However, the budget committee did not approve any additional revenue to the school board. What that means is, if the school board really needs that much more money, they'll have to make some cuts or take it from their hefty reserves.
The school board currently has between six and seven million dollars in reserve. So what they are asking is for the commission to raise property taxes so they don't have to spend any of their reserves or, heaven forbid, make any cuts.
Here's a little story that depicts the school board and the tax payers of Loudon County.
The wife, the Loudon County School Board, goes to the husband, the Loudon County tax payer, and says she needs a hundred dollars. The husband says, I thought you had ten thousand dollars in the cookie jar? The wife says, I do but I still want another hundred dollars from you. The husband asks what she needs the money for. The wife says she wants to go to a weekend retreat in Gatlinburg. The husband says he has bills and taxes to pay and he just doesn't have another hundred dollars to give her. The wife pitches a fit and screams and yells, stomps her feet and just generally has a tantrum and tells the husband, I don't care what bills you have to pay, I WANT A Hundred Dollars.
The BOE, led by Dr. Music Best and Dr. Professor Ubben, are like the wife in the story. They obviously don't care if the tax payers can afford a property tax increase or not, they just want their two million dollars even though they've got millions in their cookie jar.
While the budget committee has passed the proposed budget, it will still have to be voted on by the full commission. Hopefully, there will be no property tax increase.