Letter: Be part of tax decision?

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To the Editor:

Attention citizens of Cannon County, do you want to be part of the Tax Decision determining how much and the type of taxes you will pay? If so, then Vote March 1.

The Cannon County Commissioners have put two tax referendums on the March 1 ballot:

1. Increase the local sales tax by 1 cent (total sales tax 8.75 to 9.75). This would align Cannon County with the surrounding counties: Rutherford, Warren, DeKalb and Coffee.

2. Increase the Wheel Tax by $20 (total vehicle tag renewal from $74.25 to $94.25).

However concerning the $20 wheel tax increase, the Commissioners agreed to rollback the 15 cents property tax rate increase, approved at the special called meeting August 31, 2015 by 13 cents, if the $20 wheel tax increase is passed by the voters.

I understand no one wants to pay more taxes, including myself. But, I believe our Commissioners are trying to act in good faith in balancing the services Cannon County citizens want and deserve with taxes required to be financially responsible. This was demonstrated at the August 31 meeting when the Commissioners:

1. Cut 2.75% from all departments included in the General Fund from their 2014-15 expenditure totals. This action helped to bring spending in alignment with 2016 projected revenues.

2. Revenues directed to be set aside in order to start building an approximate $600,000 General Fund balance, as recommended by the State Comptroller's Office. This fund balance will help to provide cash flow to cover expenditures through out the fiscal year, since revenues (sales taxes, property taxes, etc) collections fluctuate from month-to-month.

At the August 31st meeting, Commissioner Glenn Steakley commented ... property tax is the most unfair tax that can be levied on a citizen. I agree with Commissioner Steakley and now we have the opportunity to reduce the property tax rate for 2016 by 13 cents.

The sales tax and wheel tax allow the tax burden to be spread more equitably across the citizens of this county .... We all make purchases and just about every household owns one more more vehicles. Therefore, I would ask first and foremost that you VOTE ... Let your voice be heard ... March 1st and second seriously consider voting in favor of the sales tax and wheel tax referendums for a more equitable sharing of the tax burden.

Thank You.

Ronnie Mahaffey


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