POLL: The 20-Cent Solution

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Members Opinions:
July 10, 2011 at 8:29am
What other options do we have? Would 15 cents get us by for a year?
July 10, 2011 at 8:37am
Whatever options the County Commissioners vote to approve. They are not bound by the recommendation of the Budget Committee.
July 10, 2011 at 8:43am
I should add there are at least two options the commissioners do not have. They do not have the option of running a deficit, meaning whatever spending they approve much match revenue. They also do not have the option of not funding schools at a lesser level than it did last year.
July 10, 2011 at 8:50am
so the question the commissioners face is not if but how much.
July 10, 2011 at 10:01am
The only other viable option is for the people to equalize the sales tax to the same rate as ALL other counties that touch Cannon County.Face reality. Several years ago a major TN university study revealed that up to 80% of the rural area consumers purchasing power is exercised in an urban area. Guess what?Murfreesboro,Manchester, Mcminnville, and to a lesser degree, Smithville are urban areas. We are approximately 20 minutes from a Wal-Mart from any where in Cannon County and none are in Cannon County, When we spend our money in those counties, or have goods ( building materials, appliances, furniture etc.) delivered from there we leave almost 3 cents for their
education and other services funded by sales tax. Taxable purchases in Cannon County contribute less than 2 cents for our own use.
I have spent 42 years in the taxpayer education in the TN department of revenue speaking at tax seminars at universities,Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, County Officials etc.groups, all across the state, ranging from 25 to 300 attendants. I have found out that the average citizen simply doesn't understand how sales tax works. For example,
If we increase the local sales tax, the increase will not apply to electricity or natural or propane gas, to gasoline or diesel,to prescription drugs, to medical services. to land and existing home purchases and certain other things that, due to space, I will not mention except that the purchase of a motor vehicle will go up only $16. Thats true.

So, lets get real and be willing to contribute to our own needs the same as we pay the needs of surounding counties. I can add a lot more. If you want to talk about it,or a group wishes to hear a presentation about the realities of sales tax at no cost I am retired and I am available and I am willing to work with any group to promote the increase in sales tax rather than property tax. I sincerely believe if the people of Cannon County truly understand the sales tax, the next referendum will take a lot of the burden off the property owners. Ray C. Todd, Bradyville
July 10, 2011 at 10:11am
To me there are other viable options, but many people would not favor them. Most of those people would be government employees or their families. If revenues are not raised, expenditures must be cut. The biggest expense is employees. The number of employees can be cut. Or the amount they are paid and/or the benefits they receive can be cut. Elementary schools can be consolidated, reducing the number of administrative staff needed. Now the only option I really favor of those I mentioned is reducing the number of elementary schools. I am not opposed to either an increase in the property tax and/or the sales tax.
July 10, 2011 at 12:08pm
I am not totally opposed to the idea of a tax increase myself. I don't agree with a 20 cent hike because like Kevin I think one major area of concern that should be looked is the schools.

I preached this sermon a few months ago and you would have thought I slapped Santa Claus in the face with the response I had when I too said the same thing that we needed to consolidate schools.

There is no telling how much money was spent in the Auburntown community from people buying "No Middle School" signs and posting them in their yards. And to be honest, Auburntown wasn't one of the schools I felt needed to be consolidated and it wasn't even being discussed seriously on any level.

brawley I understand what you are saying about buying inside the community, but that is not always an option. If the same goods and services was provided or the option to buy the same products were here I know a lot more people would buy here to include myself.

When you break down the true problem you will find it is not that people won't buy here, it is they can't afford to buy here.

$150 spent at Wal-Mart buys you more than what $200 spent in Woodbury will buy you and that is fact. And in today's economy I don't think you or anyone else is not going to try to get more for their money when possible.

The best option is to consolidate schools. Take that money saved and work toward building a new school or paying for extra services or perhaps even giving the teachers a well-deserved raise. To waste millions of dollars on our current system and then pull an Oliver Twist and beg for more gruel is crazy in my opinion!

I hope no one gets the idea that I am anti-school or against the idea of giving our children the best education possible because it is not true. What is true is that what we have is not working and the sooner people let go of the idea of keeping tradition and living in the 21st century then we will begin to work toward a better solution!
July 10, 2011 at 1:32pm
Corey, If you will read my coments again, you will find I didn't mention "buy Cannon County". My comments were simply, when one does, we should be willing to pay the same amount of tax as we pay to other counties when buying taxable consumer goods. I am keenly aware of price differention between the two and the inherent problems that exist.

Consolidation of schools may well be the optium choice. But it's not well received by the county's citizenary and would cost millions of dollars that could not possibly be funded at the present rate of revenue and would be difficult to implement even with a sales tax increase and a massive property tax increase. But, I have read many of your comments and I suspect you and I may be pretty close in basic phisophy

One poster says the salvation is to "cut". Remainds me of the man who set his thermostat on 70 degrees and vowed to drop one degree for every cent electricity went
up. After electricity went up 38 cents, guess what? he froze. I spent four years on the school board and innumerable hours on the annual budget trying to cut the expenditures while retaining basic educational quality and ever mindful of the impact any request for additional revenue would have on our citizens while fulfilling the mandatory federal and state programs.

One last point;
any entity of government is a consumer of common market goods and services but has no control on the price increases implemented by the retailers of goods and services.Just like the average citizen has no control. Another quote I have heard is " the deeper the knife is inserted, the more life's blood is drained. We simply cannot cut to the point that the life blood of our precious children's education is drained. If we do this generation is failing the next.
That runs chills up my spine. We simply can't let that happen

July 10, 2011 at 1:45pm
My issue with the situation is the fact our "leaders" have no vision, goal, or plan to benefit our future. We have now waited until the 11th hour to not fix a problem, but merely keep us afloat until the next one comes about.
I'm not saying I know what the solution is, therefore I have never ran for office of any kind to fix it. If I did have it all worked out, then I promise you I would. Which raises me to ask this question: Why do some run for office? Still no solution to a situation we all saw coming 5-7 years ago.
July 10, 2011 at 3:02pm
Cuts have already been made. When the budget process began, the total amount of the funding requests from the various county departments and agencies exceeded estimated revenue by a half million dollars, not including schools. Schools have cut many positions, or not filled existing ones. If revenue is not raised additional cuts will have to made. Would it be possible to do so without severely effecting existing services? In some areas I believe that it would, but it is situation citizens and businesses face every day. Our unwillingness to cut, to live within our means, has already set us on the path of bleeding our children dry.
July 10, 2011 at 3:31pm
I found a Cannon County property tax bill from 1975. The rate per $100.00 was $4.10. That is a lot better than the $2.32 we have now or the purposed $2.52!
July 10, 2011 at 3:33pm
lionbasketball you and I agree 100% on the idea that we have waited to the 11th hour to worry about something that has been on the horizon and easy to see for the last five years. And like you, I don't have all of the answers either. But, I do know that fixing this year’s problem without worrying about next year problems is ludicrous to say the least.

brawley we may be pretty close in basic philosophy, but you will have to explain to me how we would spend millions of dollars to consolidate schools. The way I see it, we would actually save millions of dollars based on the amount of money we spend on each school every year. $800,000 per school according to Barbara Parker with at least three that have less than 150 kids K-8.

I do not want to see the education level drop either. What I am trying to convey is that we are not getting the bang for our buck continuing to waste the money we waste each year and then wonder why we have to come back begging for 2 cents or 3 cent tax increases to maintain it in an economy that has no foreseeable future of getting any better.

Even if today is not the day or the time is not in this moment that we can't change our current system there is no reason why we can't plan for it in the future.

Does anyone think that this is the best we can do or the best we will ever be? I don't. Perhaps that makes me a little naive, but I can't help that I see beyond the moment I am living in.
July 10, 2011 at 3:52pm
Well we all vote our pocketbooks don't we? Being a property owner I am opposed to an increase in property tax. Thus I would be in favor of bringing our sales tax in line with surrounding counties. Cutting services in austere times needs to be considered as well-after all that is what we indviduals have to do when faced with reduced income. Eliminate the wheel tax scofflaws who live in Cannon Co but buy tags in DeKalb-don't know how much this would increase revenue but $75 per vehicle mounts quickly. Plus I am just generally opposed to mandated revenue grabs that don't have to pass muster of a general election. TnTnTn
July 10, 2011 at 6:35pm
Do other counties in Tennessee have departments such as ambulance, convenience centers ect...that operate in the black or breakeven?

how much of the 8.75% sales tax stays in our county? brawley, do you propose we raise our sales tax to 9.75% (the max.?) ? If so, any estimations on amounts of revenues that would be raised and how much that would reduce the burden on property owners? I asume the main opposition to raising the point of sales taxes is the business owners. I shop in Cannon county to support my comunity but also for convenience. An increase of 1% in sales tax would not effect my decission at all and i would be suprised if it effected many others. Those who love wally world dont compare prices or tax bases!
July 10, 2011 at 8:20pm
What troubles me is the fact that the county commission has wasted so much time and energy criticizing constables who where elected by the people to assist in protecting citizens in Cannon County at really no cost while sticking their heads in the sand regarding the economic woes of the county. The county commission needs to quit undermining the vote of the people and the will of the Tennessee General Assembly and focus on trying to make ends meet in the county. We need to move our county forward economically NOT rehash old meaningless political battles and personal vendettas.
July 11, 2011 at 8:49am
Bud, businesses only collect sales tax for the state. They do not receive any portion of that money. Thank you for shopping in Cannon County. I own a business in Woodbury & 90%, yes 90%, of my customers are from out of the county.
July 11, 2011 at 10:15am
Raising the sales tax hurts the people who need the money the most. The elderly, the disabled and the people who are on fixed incomes.

Raising the sales tax does not affect the people who can afford it like it does those I just mentioned.

Imagine you have $1000 income each month. $450 of it goes toward you house payment. $150 of it goes toward your utilities. $100 goes toward gas in your truck each month. $100 (if you are lucky) of it goes toward your prescriptions the doctor has you on. That leaves you a grand total of $200.00 a month to buy food with.

Now factor in that every $1.00 you spend almost a dime of it goes toward taxes. So if you buy $200 worth of food, you actually only get $180 worth of goods. Divide that by four weeks and you have $45 a week that you are surviving on. How many of you who want to raise the sales tax think you could live on that each week?

Taxes must be raised, that I can see clearly. However, I think there should be a balance of raising taxes and cutting spending at the same time. I do not agree with taxing the people who it hurts the most!

Also, to raise the sales tax it must be put on a referendum and voted on before it can be enacted and that will cost money and time and not solve the overall problem. Raising taxes without cutting spending it useless.
July 11, 2011 at 12:24pm
Corey, I am compelled to respond.You seem to imply that all the dollars you have indicated are subject to the sales.

1. The $450 house payment is not subject to the sales tax.Taxability not specified in law.
2. Except for water, The home utilities are not subject to the sales tax. TCA Sect. 67-6-334
3. The gas in the vehcile is not subject to the sales tax. TCA Sect. 67-6-329
4. Prescription drugs are not subject to the sales tax. TCA Section 67-6-320
5. Food ( grocery type items) are subject to a reduced rate of state sales tax ( 5.50%)
plus the local tax). $1,000 per month income qualifies for food stamps and WIC coupons. When purchasing food with these the sales tax does not apply, TCA Sect.67-6-337 and 338.
6. The purchase of used clothing from a 501(c) (3) organization ( like Goodwill) is exempt from the sales tax .TCA Sect, 67-6-348
7. Many items of a medical nature prescribed by a physican are not subject to the sales tax. TCA Sect.67-6-314
8. Charges by a Doctor, Dentist, Hospital, nursing home, etc are not taxable. The long established rule of statutory consructin is that unless a service is named in law as being taxable or is a cost factor in an otherwise taxable event, it is not suject to the sales.
9. For those purchases that are subject to the sales tax, in Cannon county, the combined rate is 8.75%. In surounding counties, the combined rate is 9.75%.

Corey, I respect you. But felt it necessary to set the record straight on your post. If you wish to study the sales tax law, you can access www.tn.gov/revenue. Click on library, Tenn. Code Annotated,Title 67,then Chapter 6, then part 3 for the exemptions. Have a good day.
July 11, 2011 at 1:00pm
sry if I didnt make my question clear cin but I believe from all statements we all realize that businesses collest sales tax. When you say "they do not recieve any...", do you mean businesses or Cannon County? I am confident businesses dont keep any so I guess you mean cannon county doesnt keep any.

To clarify my question-
When a business collects point-of-sales tax, what portion goes to the state and how much (if any) remains in the county?

If we can raise sales tax 1% and some or all would remain in county, can we estimate that amount?

then convert the savings into cents saved from property tax increase.

corey I also understand your senerio but if the total burden is put on property owners then your couples morgagage payment just went up and their net amount available for groceries still goes down. If they rent, landlord will pass on his increases in taxes with increases in rent. In the long run we ALL pay.
July 11, 2011 at 2:14pm
Wow you missed the point totally brawley.

I understand what is subject to and what is not subject to the sales tax. I know fully that all of the things you mentioned above are not sales tax items.

The idea behind what I said that you obviously couldn't follow was people who are on a fixed income of $1000.00 a month and pay everything they need to live have very little left over for items like FOOD that are subject to sales tax.

Raising the sales tax affects their ability to buy that food. And when you only have $200 left at the end of the month to buy your entire month's worth of food every dime spent is money you need.

This is a real scenario from someone I know personally. Raising the sales tax will take more money out of their pocket for something that I daresay you and many others take for granted (FOOD).

I appreciate the history lesson on sales tax, but it was un-needed. I respect you also, but the idea of raising the sales tax is the worst tax possible for the people who truly need the money and are affected the most.

Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to try and live on $45.00 a week to buy your foodd for the next month and see how you feel about raising the sales tax at the end of the month!

Have a good day yourself!
July 11, 2011 at 2:17pm
Cutting expenses seems the only option since a sales tax increase won't fly and a property tax increase is, no doubt, doomed.
Virtually every state in the union along with a great many cities and counties, not to mention the federal government, are all faced with same problem.

We want and want and get and get and suddenly when the well runs dry we don't want to face the hard choices available.

Simple, if the money isn't there-increase income or reduce costs to running the local government. A move on consolidation of schools, if space is available and cost saving are present, show be pushed through by those interested in reducing costs.

Long term plans with middle schools and further consolidation should be set forth.

Nothing is going to dramatically change in the near future. We are not going to see unemployment drop to five or six percent anytime soon.

Why not cut spending everywhere exempting schools and law enforcement. Four day or three and one half day work week with salaries adjusted accordingly.

Who has the pie chart showing where the money is being spent? Doesn't take CPAs to balance costs to income, most of us do it everyday, every week and every year.

July 11, 2011 at 3:59pm
Bud-Don't take this personally, please. But as I said in an earlier post, the average citzen simply doesn't understand the intricacies of the the sales tax. The state sales tax rate is 7.00%. Of the 95 counties, the higher percentage have 2.75 %
"local" sales tax, with others having 2.50%, and 2.00%. Cannon County is the only county with 1.75% sales tax. Clay County is the lowest county with 1.00%

When the sales tax is collected by merchants ( who receive no payment for it's collection) in the county anywhere, both the state and local sales tax is remitted to the department of revenue on a monthly, quarterly or ( rarely) annual basis. The local tax is returned to the county Trustee with a schedule of dollars collected within the incorported city limits and that collected outside city limits. The trustee gives Cannon County, Woodbury, and Auburntown their designted remaining share. The state charges something like 1.115% for adminstration. 50% of the local tax is statutorily mandated for education with the remaining 50% to be spent by the commission and city councils as they see fit. To be sure, Woodbury gets the Lions share of the tax simply because it has more businesses. Ironically, there are some cities, in counties with one school system, who share part of their income with the county. But, thats a matter between the commission and the council.

Using 2008/09 Fiscal data ( which is the latest I have at hand, the years distribution, from the local sales tax were
(rounded amounts)
Cannon County $228,217.
Woodbury $705,995
Auburntown $ 27,099
Total $961,310
State deduction$10,815
If we increase the local sales tax 1.00% very rough estimates emerge.
Cannon County $ 358,626
Woodbury $1,109,420
Auburntown $ 45,584
Total $ 1,513,630
increase $ 552,320

I don't know what one cent of property tax increase currently amounts to. A few years back it was $18,000, so to play with numbers, lets assume $19,000. So, it would take approximately 29 cents in property tax increase to equal 1.00% local sales tax increase and the entire burden would rest with property owners.
Again, I strongly stress these are not amounts sanctioned by the TN. Department of Revenue. I can no longer speak for the department. But, they are not too far off. I have not checked for mathematicaly accuracy either. I rushed to get this done and have some other committments. I will welcome further disucssion.
July 11, 2011 at 5:02pm
brawleycreek I didnt take personal at all- I was asking a question and i appreciate your responce.

So Murfreesboro is at 9.75% ,Nashville 9.5% and we charge 8.75%. Assuming your calucations are close, we could raise our sales tax to 9.5 and generate the funds needed without a increase in property taxes. Sounds good to me.

This option needs to be on the table. Does oppositition to this viable option come from local businesses? As i stated before, most shop Cannon county for convenience and I dont think 3/4% will send them out of county.

Also to regurgitate and agree with MMW theory, "Do other counties in Tennessee have departments such as ambulance, convenience centers ect...that operate in the black or breakeven?"

We ARE going to see tax increases so, how about we raise property taxes 10 cents, raise sales taxes .5% and get effecient (trimming all the fat) and then in the future are concerns can be on how to best serve our community with all the extra money we have laying around!

Kevin how about a new poll- property tax vs. sales tax.
July 11, 2011 at 5:23pm
Again, the idea of raising the tax that affecst the people who are financially worse off is crazy.

Rasing the sales tax is the WORST tax that could possibly be raised because it affects the poor more than those who are more financially well off.

Why would you possibly want to raise taxes on people who can barely afford to buy the food they need to survive as it is?

redmolly you are correct. The same people who bought the signs saying "No Middle School" are the same ones who are voting no on the online poll now to raise the property taxes.

But, that is today's society. I want everything and I want it right now and I want to pay what I paid for it 30 years ago and I am not going to give it up either.

The only way this will work is to cut spending with a balance of tax increases that can be spread out over the next few years so we are not faced with the same problem a year from now.

Two main areas that need to be looked at are Solid Waste and the consolidation of five grammar schools along with a possible 10 cent increase this year and a 10 cent increase next year in the property taxes. Then look at the next year of a possible 5 cent increase if needed.
July 11, 2011 at 6:50pm
.20 tax increase = less than a $1.00 per week per house
July 11, 2011 at 6:54pm
Pardon my grammar, but that ain't a lot. The price of a .99 cent Diet Pepsi at the Quick Shop ... before sales tax.
July 11, 2011 at 8:00pm
Corey, the food tax will not increase. That tax is set by the state & is 5.5%. So, food prices will stay the same. Just for anyone's info, the state does not consider candy food. Bud, a business collects the tax (8.75%), sends it in to the Depart. of Revenue, and the Depart. of Revenue sends the county its portion (ours is 1.75%), the state keeps 7%.
July 11, 2011 at 8:13pm
Corey, I didn't miss any points. I have dealt with all the pros and cons daily for a career. I just pointed out that most of your examples are not subject to sales tax. While I do have concern over the plight of the person,another point I didn't miss is )using your amounts_ 1% of #200 is $2.00 annulized, $24.00. Since the person has a house payments, It's pretty obvious that property tax is due on it and a safe bet that a 20 cent hike would be greater than the sales tax increase of 1.00%, thus a greater financial burden on the person. I detailed some of the realities of sales tax and supported them by law to familierize the readers with what the law provides. I have heard too much misunderstanding to let it go at this serious point in our county's financial struggle.
July 11, 2011 at 9:08pm
Well like I said up above, anyone who thinks raising the sales tax is a good idea should try to live on $45 a week for food.

Cin you are correct that the tax rate for food is set at 5.5% but the citizens of each county are still subject to the additional rates up to a total of 9.75%. The state gets the 5.5% and the county gets the additional money depending on what it is set at.

brawley I did a little checking and you are incorrect above. Here is the tax rate and my source is the Tennessee Sales Tax Rate & Exemptions 2010-2011 site:

Groceries: 5.5% Clothing: 7% Prepared Food: 7% Prescription Drugs: 7% Non-Prescription Drugs: 7%

All of these items are the things that the elderly, the disabled and the poor need the most and use the most and many of you believe we need to tax them more by increasing the sales tax. Seriously?

The above rates are what the STATE OF TENNESSEE recieves every time someone buys these items. When you raise the sales tax in a specific county up to 9.75% the other portion goes to the COUNTY.

Cin if you raise the rate for your county then absolutely the price of food goes up. How could it not?

And what seems like little to you (the price of a .99 cent Diet Pepsi at the Quick Shop) is a lot to someone who is barely getting by on a disability check.

We spend $2.4 million dollars a year to keep three schools open with less than 450 students K-8 in all three and now everyone is jumping on the sales tax band wagon.

That is unbelieveable to me!
July 11, 2011 at 9:33pm
Cin, I need to clarify that only the state
sales tax has been reduced to 5.50% (TCA Sect.67-6-228) The local sales tax on food has not been reduced. So a 1.00% increase in local tax will apply to food items. Ironically, if the ingredient label on what we generally think of as candy contains the word "flour" it is qualified as a reduced rate food item (TCA Sect. 6-6-102(10) The law specifically excludes dietary supplements and prepared food from the reduced rate of state sales tax. So if you buy a pound of bologna. a pound of cheese and a loaf of bread, the reduced rate of tax will apply. But if you have the store make it all up into sandwiches, it becomes "prepared food" subject to the full state and local sales tax rates (TCA Sect. 67-6-102(44).Therefore eating out is always subject to the higher sales tax rates. I don't make this stuff up or use speculation, conjecture or guess work.
That is the reason I use statutory citations to confirm there is a basis in law for what I have said.
July 11, 2011 at 11:22pm
or kevin you could pay an extra .007425 cents in taxes every time you have a Diet Pepsi : or maybe not if it is considered a food item. What is the tax aprasial of that $1.00 per week house? $26,000

Again corey you voice an opinion. "Again, the idea of raising the tax that affecst the people who are financially worse off is crazy." I will try to show more respect for your opinion than you are willing to afford me. Food taxes would not increase with an increased in sales tax / mortgages and rent (the annual cost of EVERY home in the county) will go up with an increase in property taxes.

July 12, 2011 at 7:53am
I stand corrected. Thank you brawley. The price of groceries will go up. The increase on ,let say, $45 of food would increase 34 cents. A house with a tax apprasial of ~ 26000 will cost you $1 per week extra. Taxes effect everyone! maybe we can get back to a healthy constructive concersation.

At least now I had one question answered. We do have other viable options. I hope our comissioners will consider them all.

Our taxes will be increased. I do not envy our comissioners for the position they are in and I wish them all the best as they make decisions (without pay or benifits) that will form all of our futures. I know I will not always agree with their decisions but I will always respect them for their civic contrubitions.

July 12, 2011 at 8:37am
Corey, I don't know what you found. But if 7.00% on prescription drugs is on Dept of Revenue website, it's an error and I know they would be glad to correct it. Tenn. Code Ann Sect. 67-6-320 is quoted;

" There is exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter any drug, including over-the-counter drugs, for human use dispensed pursuant to a prescription. This exemption shall not apply grooming and hygiene products..."

Reality:You can't walk into a drug store and buy aspirin or tylenol tax free. But, if you want to pay for a Doctor's visit and he/she writes a prescription for either, according to the law enacted by the General Assembly,it,along with other prescriptions will be exempt from the state and local sales.

Corey, I, like Bud, will continue to afford you personal respect. I won't suggest you are crazy. I have been called worse. Every post I have presented is firmly etched in the controlling laws of our state.I don't put matters of sales tax in writing or in speaking unless support is found in the law.Sorry, Bud, but an increase in local sales tax will affect
all food purchases. The General Assembly only
reduced the state sales tax on qualified food purchases. My personal opinion is that sales tax should be removed from food. But thats in the hands of the law makers.
July 12, 2011 at 9:23am
Bud this is not about me disrespecting your opinion, this is about fact. I find it funny you couldn't believe what I was telling you, but as long a brawley says the same thing you suddenly "stand corrected".

Also, the commissioners do get paid, so you need to stand corrected on that as well.

Your opinion is your opinion and that I do respect. I just hope you will research what you are saying prior to making it in the future. It carries more weight that way.

I still think it is crazy to raise taxes on the poorest group of people in the county while we are dumping millions of wasted dollars down the drain in a school system that could be fixed and we could use that money elsewhere or perhaps not raise taxes as high.

I also want to let you all know some facts concerning the Sales Tax idea as well:

1. It would have to be placed on a referendum and voted one before it could be enacted.
2. The next available general election vote would be held in August of 2012 unless a special election was called for.
3. The County Commissioners would have to call for the special election unless we waiting until August.
4. A special election would cost the county thousands of dollars.
5. The vote is a simple majority and if it failed the county would eat the cost and see no benefits from it.

We need the money TODAY not a YEAR from now, so everyone can talk about this all they want but it won't solve any of our problems we face.
July 12, 2011 at 12:11pm
Corey, I don't know where you got the imformation about prescription drugs. If it's on the Department of Revenue's website, I am sure they will be glad to correct it if you point out the error. To quote TCA Section 67-6-320, as enacted by our General Assembly;
" There is exempt from the tax imposed by this chapter any drug, including over-the-counter drugs, for human use dispensed pursuant to a prescription. This exemption shall not apply to grooming and hygiene products..."

One just can't walk into a drug store and buy aspirin and Tylenol tax free. But, when a Dr. writes a prescription, even for over the counter medications,all drugs will be exempt from the sales tax.

I have been careful to be able to support all I have said in these conversations with the laws that govern sales. Whether we like them or not, they are what me must abide by.
Frankly, I wish all sales tax could be taken off food. But, we don't have a wage earners income tax or a personal property state tax on citizen owned tangible personal property ( business do have such a tax). The money to run the programs of the state and local government,again, whether you personally support them or not must come from somewhere. A few years ago, Tenn. was 46th in the nation in per capita taxation. That means that 45 states demanded more from their citizens in taxes than Tenn.Ironically, we were, at that time, 31st in the nation in per capita income meaning 19 other states had a lower than Tenn . average income. That may have changed slightly since then. I don't have the latest data at hand.

Bud you are dead on about the property tax affecting renters. The landlord will simply pass on his increase to renters. Those who hold mortgages, and pay the tax on behalf of the borrower will, likewise, pass the increase on. One cannot escape the effects of property tax unless one lives in the governmental housing units owned by the government which I THINK ( Ask Donald Preston) are exempt from the proprety tax.

Oh, well whatever will be will be. We can only pray it will be in the best interest of our citizens and children in school.
July 13, 2011 at 6:33am
"this is about fact"
1-most of my post were in question form and I do appreciate all those who responded (while placing weight and consideration on the source).
2-sales tax and property taxes effect all ecomical classes (including poor)
3-Commissioners will have option to consider since they are the ones who elect whether or not to place on ballot
4-most of us know commissioners get a "token" pay per meeting so I do not stand corrected by you
5-all options should be considered
6-most headstrong individuals who know they are always right fight many losing battles with the "crazies"

time to move on
July 13, 2011 at 9:32am
Bud and Brawley, man you two are taking this thing way to personal.

I have said all along I think the IDEA of raising the sales tax on the people it would hurt the most is crazy and have never said either of you were. I just think both of you are passionate about your ideas, just like I am mine.

I have also said I respect both of your opinions as what they are which is simply opinion. If you are having this much grief over someone disagreeing with you, then you probably need to stop posting comments.

I am not here to argue with either of you. And in many ways we all agree. We just disagree on the way we should get there.

Both of you seem to think that raising the tax on the poorest people in our community is the best way because everyone thinks it is the "fairest" tax because everyone pays it.

I believe that had we planned for this 5-10 years ago we wouldn't be in this shape and just because we need the money now doesn't mean we should take it from the poor because it is suddenly deemed fair. I also know without a doubt that we wouldn't see a dime of any sales tax increase this year because of the time and money it would take to enact a raise. SO really the sales tax increase is a moot point.

Lastly, bud I understand that both the property tax and sales tax both affect all economical classes. My point which you have never seemed to grasp is that sales tax hits them the hardest and the worst. Most poor people don't own homes, but they all buy food.
And if you are going to say the commissioners are making decisions "(without pay or benifits)" as you did above, I assume that you don't know they are paid and you should be corrected.

brawley, you are more than welcome to go correct the State of Tennessee website that I quoted above because they are the ones who have all of the information I read and quoted on their website for everyone to see.

I didn't make it up and I didn't mis-quote it because I went back and double checked. If it is wrong, I will let you fight the battle of calling them and getting it corrected.

Sincerely, both of you have a good day!
July 13, 2011 at 11:00am
It is apparent that a property tax increase is inevitable and I am onboard with the consolidation of elementary schools, with the emotional response that came out the middle school meetings that probably not an option in the near future! Each school is just brick and mortar the facalty and support staff would more than likely be reassigned to a more practical location at at a reduced burden on the taxpayers.
July 13, 2011 at 12:58pm
Yes lucydog I agree.

If the idea of consolidation was one that could be put on the table, as Bud suggests all of them should be, then the immediate savings of consolidating two of the three schools that have less than 150 students K-8 would be:

And that savings is based on what Director of Schools Barbara Parker told EVERYONE in the meetings that it cost to operate one school ($800,000) per year. So before anyone asks or suggests it, I am not making those numbers up either.

If we had a savings of $1.6 million dollars would we need a 20 cent property tax increase?

brawley I believe that savings is much higher than the approximate $130,000 increase you say we we would get up above if we raised the sales tax by 1%.

So if someone wants to weigh in on that, I would be more than glad to hear it.
July 13, 2011 at 1:27pm
I am starting to wonder if you arnt here to argue and if so then ok ,each to his own, but not with me because I have better ways to waste time.

I wont speak for Brawley or cin ,they do well on their own but I never heard anyone call any tax fair or fairest except you.

"Lastly, bud I understand that both the property tax and sales tax both affect all economical classes. My point which you have never seemed to grasp is that sales tax hits them the hardest and the worst. Most poor people don't own homes, but they all buy food."

My (and brawley and cin) point which you have never seemed to grasp is that the poor pay property taxes even though theys don't own homes.
July 13, 2011 at 4:32pm
OK bud whatever because if you can't get it that the poor would pay more with a sales tax increase vs. a property tax increase (if and I say if the owner of the house passed it on to them) then I don't think anyone can explain it to you.

Again, if the idea of someone disagreeing with you is upsetting your sensitive frame of mind then I would suggest you read the articles and not post your thoughts on them.
July 13, 2011 at 6:18pm
"All of these items are the things that the elderly, the disabled and the poor need the most and use the most and many of you believe we need to tax them more by increasing the sales tax. Seriously?"

Absolutely fascinating! A Republican coming to the defense of the poor.
Next thing you know will be a proposal from them to increase taxes on the rich and close tax loopholes on gas and oil companies to help reduce the national debt along with healthcare coverage for all.

Who knows maybe Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will survive the Tea Party onslaught and we will even get the debt ceiling raised without a government shutdown.

How does that song go?? I saw the light, I saw the light!

July 13, 2011 at 6:39pm
Corey, I learned long ago not to take a person's opinion personally as long as they are calm and rational as you have been. I regret you feel I did. I don't like taxes either. For what this is worth, during my career, I have been yelled at, "cussed out", threatened and even physically attacked by a preacher over a point of sales tax law that the court had already issued a ruling on . I'm not saying the point about the prescription drugs is not on the Department's site.I am saying I cannot find it. If you will post the precise link, I will take care of it's correction and they will be glad to do it.

I won't discuss the ultimate dollar variation in consolidation versus maintenance of existing schools. I don't know and I won't speculate. For sales tax,
I have consistently used the law in my discussion.In other comments, I am as entitled as any other person to my opinion. But I am careful to believe the opinion is based on law or from my own extensive experience. Have a wonderful day.
July 13, 2011 at 8:30pm
I too have been called alot of things in my days ,many deserving, but I believe possessing a sensitive frame of mind is a new one for me. not sure if i should cry or dance.

I believe someone here is "upset" ,as anyone reading these post can tell, and I assure you and it was not, nor is not, my intention to provoked you in any way.

if the tax appraize value of a house is 26k then your taxes increased $1 per week. ((26000/100).2)/52=1

if sales tax increases 0.75% and you spend $133.33 in groceries per week, then your taxes increase $1 per week. 133.33x.0075=1

July 13, 2011 at 10:17pm
MMW I am a Republican and I don't hide it or feel ashamed by it in the least. I am quite proud to say that I believe in a lot of the conservative ideas the Republican Party promotes. You probably do to when it boils down to it.

I am also not ashamed to say that I can be a Republican and fight against what I feel is an unjust tax against the poorer group of our community vs. those who are more financially sound which an increase in the sales tax vs. property tax would be.

In the end, Republican and Democrat or Tea Party is all labels in my opinion. I sincerely believe if we would stop putting so much emphasis on belonging to one group or another we might start to solve the problems we face in this county and in this country.

Just so you are clear, I do believe that we should close the loopholes the oil companies have. I do believe the richer population should pay more than the poorer class in taxes, but I don't believe we should make them pay for everything as most people do. They earned their money just like anyone else; Who am I or anyone else to take it away?

Lastly, I don't believe that healthcare should be mandated and forced down the throats of all Americans because I believe it to be un-constitutional for Congress to mandate we buy anything. I have said it before, what is next? Why not just say we are all limited to one high fructose corn syrup drink a day because that is making us all obese and driving up health care costs.

Despite what everyone wants to preach and promote, everything in life is not an entitlement. America has become fixated on the idea that we are owed everything and everything should be given to us. I don’t believe in that idea and I wish more people thought the same way.

None of those things I have said I agree with or disagree with make me any less Republican or any more Democrat. I believe what I am saying is right because it is right morally.

By the way, it takes two to tango on the debt ceiling. You can't spend into oblivion like Democrats want to do and expect to balance anything. That is like saying "I have checks, so therefore I have money”. Nor can you not EVER raise taxes like the Republicans don’t want to do and still pay for all the goods and services we receive.

Too many labels and not enough compromise!

brawley the website is Tennessee Sales Tax Rate & Exemptions 2010-2011. Have fun!
July 14, 2011 at 7:55am
Corey; I just googled Tennessee sales tax rates and exemptions and, just as I suspected, it's not a TN Dept of Revenue website. Appears to be a Federal Government website and it's wrong about sales tax on prescription drugs in TN.. No wonder I couldn't find it. I was relying on state law, not the site of another. It will take an " act of Congress" to get that changed.
July 14, 2011 at 9:37am
OK brawley. Just glad you know I wasn't making it up when I quoted the source.

And Bud just so you know, if I am upset or mad people will have no doubt to include you.

None of what you said or tried to convey in your opinions bothered me in the least.

Your figures may be correct in your last quote, but every $1 you take away from someone through sales tax who only has $45 to spend on food each week the more hungrier they become.

As a property owner I would rather think that I had to pay the $1 vs. someone on a fixed income going without the food.

Call me crazy, but I think that is right morally too!

Enoguh said, let's move on.
July 14, 2011 at 9:41am
Corey, the invitation is simply too enticing to pass up: You're crazy :)
July 14, 2011 at 2:05pm
righteous and right. the plot thickens even this late in the game

if you cant see both sides by now then your blinders are fixed. Taxes from any means effect ALL.

I will even contend that many landlords will raise rent to cover any increases in overhead. The greedy ones wont raise $1 to cover cost, they will raise it $5 while they have an excuse. Meanwhile your couples groceries bill just went up 33 cents per week.

My point, that you dont and probably wont get, is not to favor one over the other but to point out that they both stink and if there are any differences at all in the two they would be marginal at best. My opinion is we should use both and hope that some blend of taxation would posabably get us closer to the fairness you look for.

If we were to "protect the poor" and tax only the rich, the rich would manafacture the products we all buy and we would all pay the taxes in the checkout line. Might not be called a tax or even look like a tax but we would all be paying the tax.

Please dont take the wrong way but I really dont care if you understand me or not and I am totally surprised with your overwhelming persistance to try to convence me base on just because you say so or "morality".

As for enough, that time passed long long ago.
July 14, 2011 at 3:43pm
Bud the time may have passed, but I see you just continue to weigh in.

I understood everything you have said from the first post to the last. Don't flatter yourself that you are that hard to figure out because you aren't.

I too believe we should have all options on the table and I said up above that we should not always tax the richer population because that doesn't work either.

And honestly, I am not trying to convince you of anything because you agreeing or disagreeing with my opinion quite frankly means nothing to me. I am simply making the point based on fact that implementing a sales tax will always be harder on the poorer population vs. a property tax increase. Something you seem determine to ignore and deny.

But, that is your right to be oblivious to the obvious as well.

As far as morals go, if you don't have any that too is your right. I choose to look at life a little different which is my right as well.

Have a good day!
July 14, 2011 at 3:45pm
P.S. Kevin "sticks and stones".

P.S. #2: It takes someone crazy to recognize someone crazy!

July 14, 2011 at 4:53pm
Readers, I think I am through with this dialogue. I have had people in audiences continue to argue when the text of the law was in front of them and proven facts supported in writing in the materials given them. One reaches a point that there is no need to continue. On this topic, I'm there. I will not resort to name calling, speculation and innuendo. I may comment on other topics in the future, but only with a rock solid foundation for what I say. Sincre thanks to the Cannon Courier for providing this forum.
Have a good day and woderful life.
July 14, 2011 at 6:07pm
Again and again.... you have quoted no facts, just unproven opinions. time to get on your righteous soapbox again and fire away
July 14, 2011 at 7:44pm
OK Bud whatever makes you feel good. Live in your fantasy world, I will live in reality.

brawley, Kevin was just picking on me and I didn't take what he said to heart so the name calling was all in fun.
July 14, 2011 at 7:45pm
Property taxes in Tennessee are calculated utilizing the following four components:


The Appraised Value for each taxable property in a county is determined by the county property assessor.


The Assessment Ratio for the different classes of property is established by state law (residential and farm @ 25% of appraised value, commercial/industrial @ 40% of appraised value).


The Assessed Value is calculated by multiplying the appraised value by the assessment ratio.


The Tax Rate for each county is set by the county commission based on the amount of monies budgeted to fund the provided services. These tax rates vary depending on the level of services provided and the total value of the county’s tax base.

On a house/property valued at $100,000
$100,000 x .25 = $25,000 x 2.32 = 58000/100 = $580

With the proposed tax increase:
$100,000 x .25 = $25,000 x 2.52 = 63000/100 = $630

Thus the 20 cent tax increase would equal only $50 more in property tax on a residence valued at $100,000 ... this is less than $1 per week.
(630 - 580 = 50)

To calculate the tax on your property, multiply the ASSESSED VALUE by the TAX RATE.

July 15, 2011 at 7:29am
thank you for that clarification and information. I was not sure as to percentages for commerical. I did miss quote earlier declaring appraised value instead of assessed value.

Is there a rule of thumb that approximatley 80% of market value =tax appraised value?
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