Where The Money Went
|Over the last few months, I have brought you a number
of stories on just how
inept and irresponsible the Loudon County Board of Education has
been with your tax dollars. Lest anyone should say I have been picking
on the BOE and giving the commission a free pass, this story will
hopefully show what commission has been doing with our money and why
they think they need more and more.
In 2005, the Loudon County Commission by the narrowest of margins passed the largest property tax increase in the county's history based entirely on false information from a representative of The County Technical Assistance Service, CTAS, who had given dire estimates on the county's financial position. All of the projected short falls turned out to be way wrong. None the less, the commission held to their wrong assumptions and kept the property tax increase. By the county's own estimates, 1 cent of the proper tax has a value of $130,000.00. So in 2005 the commission popped the property owners for 2.7 million dollars. Now they would have us to believe that money is gone and they need another property tax increase. This time the commission is going to raise the rate another 8 cents. Again using the county's estimates, that's another million dollars they want us to pay. How is it that Loudon County managed to get by for so many years with no property tax increases and now suddenly we find the need to raise the tax every other year?
It's very simple. The commission has been on a spending spree of unprecedented proportions. They may not have thrown away as much money as the school board but they have really been going through the bling bling for the last two years. In a story last week "It's Called Tax And Spend" we learned about how much the commission had spent just on a few unnecessary items. But that doesn't really give the bigger picture. Just remember what I have said over and over. If government has money, they will spend it. The budget table below is proof positive to that statement.
Below is the county government budget for 2006 and the proposed 2008 budget the commission plans to vote for in August. The 2006 figures are from the state audit and reflect the actual expenditures. I think you will quickly see what the problem is.
As you can clearly see, commissioner's need to put the brakes on their spending. Nearly ever department in the county general fund 101 has increased not by just a little but in some instances tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars all in just two short years. Now, remember the 2005 property tax increase generated 2.7 million new dollars from our pockets for the county to spend. Increase in county spending over the last two years, 2.7 million.
Ok, so they raise our property taxes 2.7 million, then they needlessly spend 2.7 million. Then they raise our taxes another million and they needlessly spend another million. Anybody else see a pattern here?
How can anyone justify such high increases in such a short time?