Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Shakespeare Had it Right

I swear I saw this on local television news last night (not sure where), but a search today doesn't turn it up. Ah well.

Anyway, Tennessee State law requires that Counties adjust their property tax rates following a re-appraisal cycle. Property tax millage (what they call the rate, ie. $4.05 per $1000) must be decreased by the same percentage as the average increase in County property value after the re-appraisal. The idea is that the County gets the same dollar amount, preventing "windfalls," and property owners don't find themselves socked with unpayable new bills.

Seems that some of the lawyer-types on the County Commission, and County Mayor AC Wharton, a lawyer, are trying to make plans to keep or even increase the County property tax rate the same after the new re-appraisal, in effect creating the very windfall that State law disallows.

Their reasoning? Since the County is closing in on $2 billion in debt, how can anyone call the new money a "windfall?" We're in debt! All the money, supposedly, would be earmarked for debt relief, but how long do you think that will last? After all, the "temporary" wheel tax is still with us a decade later and it no longer just funds education as it was proposed for.

What a racket. Shakespeare was indeed right, and so were the Founding Fathers. Lawyers are not to be trusted. Yes, some of the Founding Fathers were lawyers, among other things, but far more were simply citizen-legislators and statesmen.

Can we please get some promising political candidates who are beholden only to voters to bitchslap the current lot? They need to go.

The bottom of the ocean would be a good place.

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