To the Editor:
In November of 2006, Tennessee voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the State Constitution to allow county and city governments to implement a senior citizen property tax freeze program. This program is not a government handout, but a way to offer the elderly residents, many on fixed incomes, protection from large, unaffordable property tax increases during the twilight years of their lives. Despite the voters approving this program state-wide, the law requires that the county commission vote to implement the program at the local level before it benefits us here.
The Cannon County Commission has yet to implement this program to protect the elderly home owners of our community, despite numerous other counties across the state implementing the Senior Tax Freeze Program. Most of the surrounding counties including Coffee, Smith, Wilson and Rutherford Counties, have already implemented this program to benefit their seniors. Why has the Cannon County Commission not even discussed or voted on this program yet? The majority of the senior citizens of his community have worked hard all their lives, raised their families, and many now cannot work anymore due to health problems that come with age, thus many of them live on very fixed incomes.
Large property tax increases can make our elderly have to choose between buying food and medicine or going without so they can pay for their land tax bill and keep their homes from being taken from them by the government. Should we not at least consider a program that would freeze property taxes at their current level for some of the most vulnerable of our community? Many of the citizens that would benefit from this program are our parents, grandparents and great uncles and aunts that raised and protected us as children. Now that they are advanced in years, do they not deserve our help? Please contact your county commissioners today and encourage them to implement the Senior Citizen Property Tax Freeze Program before they consider another large property tax increase.