I find myself writing this with a sense of urgency and a call to rally the troops. We have a very serious issue looming in our midst. There has been some confirmation to what I see as one of those most urgent issues that may change our immediate future and further burden us and our way of life.
I was recently informed what I have suspected for a while. We are facing a major tax increase and the immediate information, although no official notice has been given, is that we are facing an increase in our property taxes with estimates of 12 to 50 cents and possibly other large taxes. The range is wide but neither end is satisfactory.
As of this writing (e-mail), l have only recieved one e-mail return from a Bradley County commissioner and an attachment from the county mayor, neither denying nor confirming this. The patent answer seems to be, and will probably be repeated many times over once I receive more returned e-mails, is that "we are combing over the details and will see what the county needs are." This may be paraphrasing a bit, but the message is the same and I believe the answer is, “We are gonna raise taxes, just don’t know how high yet!”
I don’t know about you, but approximately two years ago when I picked up on all the talk of these huge companies coming to town, lots of growth, this school needing to be built, this road, this airport, this corridor, this train station remodeling, Chamber of Commerce recruiting here and there, 2035 (Agenda 21 supported) Strategic Growth Project, 10 to 20 new schools, 33,000 new people to the area, up to $4 billion needed for future growth plans, $6 million needed to buy property (initially sold for $1.6 million, then sold back to the taxpayers for $6 million) to develop an industrial park on unsuitable land, etc. — I knew we were headed for a huge, gigantic tax increase.
If you think it will stop here you are dead wrong! This tax increase will only partially cover initial existing growth projects!
My projection is this will not cover the billions to develop — as according to county and city planners — the rest of the plan for the next 25 years. Federal spending money has been cut off by Mr. Obama, Gov. Haslam has said we need to tighten our state budget, the county continues to say we are broke, but we as a county continue to put our hand out anyway and take millions of your hard-earned money.
People of this community, this is your county! It is totally up to you to speak up and say enough is enough.
You are going to hear all kinds of negative rebuttals to this letter, just to mention a few:
1. It will help the children (I would rather have the money to provide for my own children).
2. We are among the lowest taxed counties in the state (then let’s keep it that way).
3. Jobs, jobs, jobs! I think I read somewhere upward of 4,000 new jobs! Let’s further analyze! How many jobs and tax revenue will really be created for the citizens of this county? Many will simply leave the job they are at right now and apply at another place. The COC boasts our location is close to the businesses in Chattanooga and surrounding areas. Well, what will happen? Yes, they will simply skip across county lines and work in another county and then return to their county and pay the property tax there that we thought we were going to benefit from in the first place. The actual net jobs will be considerably less, meaning the tax burden will be higher and guess who gets to pay that?
4. Without trying to sound callous here, I constantly hear if we cut county jobs people will be homeless and out of a job! This goes against everything they preach. If the jobs are there, let’s simply assist those with job placement with these large companies and even provide training for the diplaced workers and nobody loses an income.
5. Need I say more about the lack of tax revenue and the possible lawsuits that may result from certain companies not wanting to pay millions in sales tax? Happening right now in one of our new plants being built as we speak!
6. Did I mention that once we get real used to having these companies around they will simply relocate when their tax dollars become due and further burden our community and move to another?
People of Bradley County, I can go on all day about how we don’t need certain things and we shouldn’t do this or that! But, one thing remains certain is you are going to be paying dearly for this growth! Period! End of story!
Let’s ask our leaders to make the hard decisions before they raise taxes. Let’s ask them to cut where needed, trim the fat so to speak. No one wants to hear that, but the cold hard facts remain the same. We can balance the budget and develop a surplus only if our elected officials decide to do so by making the hard decisions they were elected to do.
I need your help! We must contact our elected officials that will be voting soon for or against multiple tax hikes and tell them you hold them 100 percent accountable for any and all new tax burdens that they will place on you and decreasing your quality of life. Don’t buy into the lies. If you don’t believe me, research it yourself and see the growth projects mentioned and then ask yourself one simple question. Who will pay for it? I believe the answer will be revealed pretty quickly!
Let them know that when the next election cycle comes around you will not forget. You will not be silent! You will not be fooled as "politicians" attempt to pull the wool over your eyes once again.
It starts at home and it begins with you. It takes a little effort to step out of your comfort zones and become a little active and tell them “no.” But it will be worth it.
Your voice must be heard! It is up to you to stop this madness.
Ask yourself, “Do I allow this or do I become involved and stop these elected officials from doing whatever they want with our tax dollars?”
It’s up to you. It’s up to me!
More details can be found on www.bradleyco.net
Also, once you’ve done your research, ask your commissioner to update their profile with e-mails so they can be easily communicated with. I know this may be a burden to some, but it is what they were elected to do! Be available to their constituency!
It's all about the Constitution!
— Donny Harwood