No Tax Hike Plan Detailed

Loudon County Commissioner, Austin Shaver 2nd district, laid out his proposal in detail for the school building plan Monday night. Using state audits and information from the county finance department, Shaver again showed that the building plan adopted by the board of education could be accomplished with no property tax increase.

According to Shaver, since the thirty-two cent tax increase passed in 2005, the commission has been adding an average of 2.5 million dollars per year to the county's general fund reserves which have now reached 8.4 million dollars. Shaver proposes shifting a small portion of the general fund revenues to the school's debt service that he says would more than pay for the adopted building program and at the same time allow the general fund reserves to continue to grow at about one million dollars per year.

Commissioner Don Miller 7th district who has proposed a twenty-five cent property tax increase to pay for the building plan continued to maintain that Shaver's plan would not work but could not give any specific reasons why. Shaver questioned why the commission would raise taxes when it is totally unnecessary at this time. "Why not wait till the day comes when an increase is necessary before we consider a tax increase?"

Commissioner Nancy Marcus stated that she didn't feel a new school was needed in Greenback.

Commissioners will ultimately have to make one of three decisions. Raise property taxes to pay for the building plan, not raise property taxes for the building plan or do nothing.