Commissioner explores sales tax vote
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I find that I must write this article to clear up some matters. Evidently there are a lot of questions about the proposed sales tax issue on the ballot. On one hand you have a member of the election commission that is asking people to vote down the sales tax increase. He certainly has his right as a private citizen to say what he thinks, but, the fact that he is a member of the election commission that oversees the election process I don’t think he should be able to do that. With his office of election commissioner he has more influence to sway the voting citizenry then he does as being a private citizen.

 Example.

 It would be like what had happened twenty years ago on the grand jury. The Grand Jury Foreman was part of a group of people who signed a petition to help get probation for a convicted drug dealer from this county, they were friends. When the judge saw that his name was on the petition he immediately called the foreman in and relieved him of his position and appointed another man. The judge told him that he has a responsibility to stay out of anything like that because of his position.

Election member.

Mr. Davenport from the election office writes that if the Commission had the power to raise the sales tax by themselves they would. That is probable but there is also a set limit that you can raise these kind of taxes and local governments in Tennessee with the exception of Cannon County (and maybe one other) has already reached that limit. So if we could raise them we would not go over what our neighboring counties have because they are at the limit.

In Defense

 In Mr. Davenport’s defense I must say that I have complete confidence in his ability to do what is right. But he has to realize that we only have one or two ways of raising funds to run this county. The Commission has continually asked the heads of the county departments to cut back and they have did the best they can. Pretty soon we will be asking them to work for nothing or ask them to lay off people because we can’t afford them.

What this tax does for Cannon County.

There have been hundreds of citizens that have told the commissioners that they don’t want to have their property taxes raised. I don’t particularly want mine raised either; so what is the next option? The Commissioners have asked to put this sales tax referendum on the November ballot because half of this tax goes to the school system. They are already operating on sales tax revenues, when you look on the audit from the State of Tennesseethe money is called local option sales tax. And for the year 2011 it shows that the school system got $490,278.00 for that year. I am told by a member of CTAS fromNashville in the financial division that this penny increase we are asking for will bring the county $500,000.00 dollars more. Out of that half million dollars half of it, a quarter of a million ($250,000.00), will go to the schools on top of what they already get. The other half of that the county has for solid waste expenses and our general fund. We could put that on debt services if we wanted to. In fact the commission could vote to put our half of the sales tax money on whatever we deemed necessary.  By comparison 1 penny on property taxes will bring in only $20,000.00 (twenty thousand) a year.

Who should be behind this vote?

I would think that the School Board and the Superintendent of Schools would be out beating the bushes asking everyone to help get this passed. TheCountyExecutiveshould also be out there asking for this tax. And why you may ask? I am not presuming that everyone goes out of the county to shop. I know some people that only shop in Woodbury/Cannon County, but that is not the normal case. You can get food here and some furniture and building materials but you have to admit there is only so much you can buy in Woodbury. So if that is the case every county you buy from has a 9 ¾ sales tax. So what you buy out of county you do not reap any advantage for your county, you give it to the county you are shopping in.

County Commission’s Duty

It is the duty of the county legislative body to find the funding and set tax rates to keep the county running on a day to day basis. Because we do not have the industries at this time to help offset the property taxes we have to be creative to help “keep the lights on”. The local option sales tax is probably the most equal way to fund money to be used to help government operations (especially the schools). Being aCountyCommissioneras you can guess is not the most popular position in the county, especially when it comes to raising money. The men and women who take on this job must have the desire to serve the county and do what is necessary to keep the county afloat.

If we cannot raise money this way on a sales tax increase then it will fall on us to raise property taxes at some time to keepCannonCountyafloat. Remember one additional cent of property tax money only brings in $20,000.00

I ask you not to just blindly go to the polls and cast a vote not to raise the sales tax, think about the schools, they are recipients of half the money raised by this tax. Don’t just vote no because you feel we don’t need any more taxes raised. Don’t take my word for it; ask Barbara Parker if the school gets this money and ask her if she could use more, I bet you she will tell they can always use money.

Respectfully

Bob Stoetzel

5th District Commissioner

Chairman of theCountyCommission

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Members Opinions:
October 31, 2012 at 2:20pm
Bob:
You say my influence as an Election Commissioner is going to sway the vote against the increase in Sales Tax, but as Chairman of the Cannon County Commission you ignore your ability to sway people's vote for the Sales Tax Increase by writing this letter promoting the increase and telling people if they don’t vote for it then as a Commissioner you will need to raise property taxes in the future? That is probably the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard you say.

You have basically just told the citizens of this county that if they don’t vote the way you want then you will raise their taxes on them. That is 1000 times more powerful than any influence you suggest I may have as an Election Commissioner.
It has been the mindset of this county for years to be like a dog chasing its tail. The goal should not be to raise taxes in an economy like we are in. Everyone has this idea that the sales tax is the "fair" way to make the poorest members of our community pay their share. Well I couldn't disagree more.
There is a reason people are poor. There is a reason why they struggle. There is a reason why they don't own property and it is because they have no money. You want to solve the school problem then work on the school problem. Raising the sales tax is more of the dog chasing his tail. You cannot tax our county into prosperity. It is impossibility.
I said it before: most people who are "poor experts" or "consultants" have never wanted for anything a day in their life. You try living on $1000.00 a month income to pay your house payment, buy your medicine, pay for your insurance, gas and electricity and then buy groceries on what's left then you come back and talk to me. I bet the whole attitude of raising the sales tax would change dramatically if you tried it.
I have a lot of respect for what you are trying to do and what you have done so far Bob, but you aren't living below the poverty line like a lot of the citizens here are and you have no idea how it affects them.

My opinion is my own. I have it because I know how it feels and I know people who are living it every day of the week. There are different ways to solve this problem of raising revenue to prevent raising property taxes and to help support the schools at the same time. The problem is everyone is too busy chasing the tail and worrying about a sales tax increase instead of working on the problem.
October 31, 2012 at 3:47pm
“Seems rather stupid to me”

and now:

" That is probably the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard you say."

Can this individual write something without either alluding to the stupidity of others or outright calling someone a hypocrite?
October 31, 2012 at 4:01pm
Hello stalker! a.k.a. MMW / dailyreader!

Enjoy your life in Murfreesboro while all of us enjoy ours in Cannon County.

Your opinion means nothing to anyone on the planet besides yourself!
October 31, 2012 at 4:12pm
Bob I think your numbers may be a little off. Last year the county got 758,652.00 local sales tax. This counts Woodbury , Auburntown & Cannon county. The County General Budget only got 107,952.00.If you multiply this by a factor of 1.57. You will have estimated revenue for next year of 169,484.64 then subtract 107,952.00 to get net gain of 61,532.64.This is only a offset of about 3 cents on prop.tax rate. To get the factor divide 2.75 % by 1.75%.
October 31, 2012 at 10:00pm
Bob I also have to ask you why you felt the need to call me out when one of your fellow commissioners has a sign in his store window telling everyone to VOTE NO on the sales tax issue.

Why is that not a point you felt necessary to make considering you've known that for awhile as well?

Agree or don't agree with my opinion, but don't make accusations that are unfounded just because someone doesn't agree with your opinion.

The goal of this referendum was to give people a choice, not for you to decide their vote for them.
November 01, 2012 at 5:49am
The election committee conducts all city, county, state and federal elections for the county, following the election laws of the State of Tennessee.
The election committee is committed to upholding the election laws of the State of Tennessee and protecting the integrity of the election process, overseeing voter registration, candidate qualifications, petitions for offices, legal notices, early voting, and election day voting.
They are there to make sure the freedom and the purity of the ballot is secured,
It is a breach of ethics for a member of that committee to be trying to influence the outcome of that process. This, in itself, contaminates the purity of the voting process.
Their duties are not even similar to the duties of the county commissioners and to compare the two seems somewhat disingenuous and seemingly done as an attempt to cast doubt on the integrity of the county commissioner.


A county resident and a voter who will vote yes on this tax.
November 01, 2012 at 6:28am
Hello Stalker a.k.a. dailyreader / MMW.

You opinion matters not because you are NOT and I repeat NOT a citizen of Cannon County and you live in Murfreesboro and cannot vote on the sales tax referrendum.

Please enjoy your life in Murfreesboro and keep your nose where it belongs.
November 01, 2012 at 8:13am
On this one I will have to agree with MMW and Bob. I doubt we can have laws restraining our election officials from spending time on their soapbox but it seams to me a breach in ethics of this most honorable and esteemed office.
November 01, 2012 at 8:25am
Bob says "Don’t take my word for it; ask Barbara Parker if the school gets this money and ask her if she could use more, I bet you she will tell they can always use money.”

And ask Barbara Parker if one of her most cherished goals isn’t to better prepare our graduates for the future.
Ask Barbara Parker if one of her goals is to bring the CCHS composite ACT out of the bottom tier of surrounding schools and into the top rung. (And a thanks to all for the increase we see in the 2012 numbers, especially in the Math and Science scores)
Ask her if additional funds would not assist in keeping the brightest and best teachers right here in the county rather than lose them to other counties and ask her if the money were there would not we see an upgrade in the facilities and equipment needed in this day and age.
Barbara Parker would, no doubt, be over joyed to have these additional funds (regardless of the amount) along with much more to achieve goals never envisioned before in the county.

Vote Yes---- it is in the best interest of our students. We owe it to them
November 01, 2012 at 10:30am
My opinion is my opinion. At no time have I used any position with any board I hold in Cannon County to sway anyone's opinion on voting for or against the sales tax. I don’t carry that much influence over anyone to do that, however I appreciate all of you thinking that I am that powerful.

I have that right guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States to voice my opinion. It is no different than the President of the United States or any other elected official stating their beliefs and opinions or to talk about a cause they believe in. It is done on a daily basis all over the county, state and federal levels.

Unethical would be if I told someone that I was going to have them purged from the voting rolls if they didn’t vote how I wanted. It would also be unlawful. You guys have no concept of what unethical means.

My opinion is no different than Cannon County Commission Chairman Bob Stoetzel telling everyone “If we cannot raise money this way on a sales tax increase then it will fall on us to raise property taxes at some time to keep Cannon County afloat”.
That is 1000 times more persuasive and unethical than any letter I have written or any comment I have made on this site. That is saying to the citizens of this county that if you don’t vote the way I want to then I will automatically raise your property taxes all the while knowing there is other avenues to accomplish the same goal without raising taxes.

It is no different than Cannon County Commissioner Russell Reed hanging a sign in his business telling everyone to VOTE NO on the sales tax. Although I do not think his sign is unethical, I do believe it is 1000 times more persuasive than my letter or comments due to the volume of people that come through his store each day. I applaud Mr. Reed for taking a stance on an issue he feels strongly about and I encourage him to remain outspoken against unnecessary burdens on the people he represents. He and Jim Bush were the only two commissioners who had the guts to stand up for the people they represent.

If MMW / dailyreader actually lived here in Cannon County and could actually vote then his opinion my actually carry more weight. However he doesn’t so therefore his opinion doesn't.

Bud I will ask you this. When was the last time you actually made a suggestion to make something better for Cannon County? When was the last time you volunteered to be on a committee or be the front man to help out a cause? I am guessing I will get a lot of silence on that question.

More importantly, if either you Bud or my dailyreader / stalker's opinion of me actually mattered in any way, form or fashion it might mean something too. However, you two can go fly a kite together because I could absolutely, unequivocally care less what you say, what you write or what you think about me.

Neither of you do anything but complain while doing nothing to help. Until you get off of your own soapboxes and actually do something besides complain your comments will always remain useless to me.
November 01, 2012 at 12:09pm
You must care or you would not write a manifesto everytime we comment OUR opinion. As for your question to me, to answer it would only reflect i care.

As to the ethics issue or the difference in an elected commissioners opinion and that of a appointed position (in case you forgot the topic at hand) one thing is for sure- you dont and wont get it.

Anyone who has ever follower these threads and witnessed your rants knows you must have the last words of "factual knowledge" so crank it up and fire away.

Also i do enjoy flying kites and the wind is up
November 01, 2012 at 1:17pm
LOL I have no doubt you enjoy flying kites Bud. Don't worry about the wind, all you need to do is open your mouth and blow because you are so full of hot air.

I knew it would be "crickets" when it came down to actual suggestions / or work you've done for Cannon County.

I expected nothing less.
November 01, 2012 at 2:15pm
"On this one I will have to agree with MMW and Bob. I doubt we can have laws restraining our election officials from spending time on their soapbox but it seams to me a breach in ethics of this most honorable and esteemed office."

No slander. No name calling. Just an opinion.

"Bud I will ask you this. When was the last time you actually made a suggestion to make something better for Cannon County? When was the last time you volunteered to be on a committee or be the front man to help out a cause? I am guessing I will get a lot of silence on that question. More importantly, if either you Bud or my dailyreader / stalker's opinion of me actually mattered in any way, form or fashion it might mean something too. However, you two can go fly a kite together because I could absolutely, unequivocally care less what you say, what you write or what you think about me. Neither of you do anything but complain while doing nothing to help. Until you get off of your own soapboxes and actually do something besides complain your comments will always remain useless to me."

"LOL I have no doubt you enjoy flying kites Bud. Don't worry about the wind, all you need to do is open your mouth and blow because you are so full of hot air.

I knew it would be "crickets" when it came down to actual suggestions / or work you've done for Cannon County.

I expected nothing less."

Exactly what I expected from you. We could only dream of slience from you.
November 01, 2012 at 2:30pm
Everyone needs a dream Bud. You are no different. I have known for some time you and MMW live in a dream world anyway.

Silence is not going to happen because there will always be people like yourself and your protégé MMW who blab nonsense just to hear yourself talk!

Seems like you and I did this before didn’t we. You accuse me of needing the last word and you posted right behind me twenty times, then you went out and deleted them all. Kind of like the pot calling the kettle black.
November 01, 2012 at 2:45pm

'who blab nonsense just to hear yourself talk!"

even a crazy fool would see how petty and childish this thread has become

this fool is done with this fool
November 01, 2012 at 5:44pm
Corey, I thought we took care of this with our phone call wohere we talked about it. The letter was written to show the comparison of the two opinions. I would do nothing on purposde to undermine your integrity so if it takes a public apology then thhat what it will be. Corey I apologise on giving the ipression that what you were doing was unethical. I don;t believe that you are unethical. If I did I wouldn't have recommended you for any position on any boards.
Minn you have to remember that there is Woodbury, Aburntown and the county general that comes out of the counties share after it has already been divided in half with the school system. Then it is divided again and then again the 3rd time. The school system is the real winner here, the county actually is the loser..
November 02, 2012 at 6:36am
The unethical part was the only issue I had Bob.
Anyone who knows me understands I try to be the most ethical and transparent person I can be on every board and walk of life I am involved in. My service on the Election Commission has had absolutely no effect on this debate at all and I felt it was totally unnecessary to be brought into play. I hope you continue to explain your side as much as possible even when it disagrees with my opinion.

You, Tony Stinnett, Bud, MMW, Ray Todd or whoever disagrees with my position has that right to do so. Everyone is either for it or against it for their own reasons. And even though it is mostly impossible to have an actual debate vs. bickering with MMW (and now it seems Bud), I do not begrudge them for having their opinion at all. If we didn’t bicker back and forth all the time it could actually be a good thing. And for the record, I am guilty of participating in the bickering just as much as them.

You know my position on the sales tax issue and you know why I have it because we talked about it on the phone.

My reasons are very personal to me because I see the struggle to survive each and every day with someone I know who lives as clean of a life as anyone I have ever known. A sales tax increase will hurt them even more despite all the people who write to the contrary saying it won't. Not a single one of the people who are for the tax increase would vote for it if they had to survive each month for the rest of their lives like that person.

In the end the people will decide yes or no. Not any of us alone, but all of those who actually can and will vote. I hope they vote NO not because I want to see schools suffer or to say I am right but because I know without a shadow of a doubt it is not the right path we should take to solve the problems we face.

Apology accepted and thanks you for making it public. If I offended you, then I too apologize. Now let’s move on and work toward solving some problems instead of arguing about them!
November 02, 2012 at 6:50am
As a reminder:

“Commissioners (Cannon County) set personnel policies for the county, appropriate funds for County departments and set the property tax rate.”

As an elected Cannon County Commissioner Bob said “If we cannot raise money this way on a sales tax increase then it will fall on us to raise property taxes at some time to keep Cannon County afloat. Remember one additional cent of property tax money only brings in $20,000.00"

Keep in mind now that these are the people that we have elected to “appropriate funds to County departments” for this county to operate daily.

So how does that position, being forces to raise funds somehow, one way or the other, warrant this comment: “if they don’t vote for it then as a Commissioner you will need to raise property taxes in the future? That is probably the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard you say.”

To be guilty of hypocrisy you have to be deceitful or be trying to dissemble or false in what you are saying.

Bob was not being hypocritical but being honest as commissioner, responsible for funds appropriations, in telling the county what could happen.

The apologies should be coming from the other party and not from you Bob.

And when one says “probably the most hypocritical thing I have ever heard you say” that implies there must be a host of others said.

As I said, the apology should be coming from someone else and not you Bob.
November 02, 2012 at 9:30am
MMW I won't debate anything between Bob and I with you or anyone else in this thread.

He and I have settled our differences both privately and now publically like real men do.

I know the concept of acting like a real man is not something you understand so I won't hold it against you that hiding behind two different pen names, living in another county, offering zero solutions about anything and simply trying to start arguments because you have no other life is just who you are.

Anytime you want to come out of hiding and debate, please let me know. Until then your opinion as always means absolutely nothing.

November 02, 2012 at 4:06pm
And now after all is said and done, apologizes and all, it seems to me a sad day for this county when an official of the county publically says:
a) It is “rather stupid” for the county commissioners to add to the ballet a one cent tax.
b) A commissioner’s rationale for the tax is one of the “most hypocritical thing” that commissioner has ever said.
c) And then issues taunting, challenging and demeaning comments directed at someone who objects to his statements.

Our county deserves better than childish and immature behavior from an official of the county even if the Republican Party doesn’t.
November 03, 2012 at 5:57am
Be a man and call me MMW and voice your concerns and stop hiding behind two different pen names. I am in the book all you have to do is pick up the phone.

It is not long distance from Murfreesboro where you live. I already know your name anyway so when you call and it shows up on the caller ID I will know who it is.

Waiting...........................
November 04, 2012 at 7:17am
Doesn't everyone know only Corey has the knowledge to solve all the problems of governing,be it local, state or national? Of course his political leanings have nothing to do with it.

November 04, 2012 at 8:46am
You can call me too bolo. The number is in the book.

Nice fake pen name!

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