TSBA Seeks New Legislation




Senator Randy McNally, & Representatives Jimmy Matlock and Dennis Ferguson

Senator Randy McNally: sen.randy.mcnally@legislature.state.tn.us

Representative Jimmy Matlock: rep.jimmy.matlock@legislature.state.tn.us

Representative Dennis Ferguson: rep.dennis.ferguson@legislature.state.tn.us


Taxing Authority by School Boards


By: Pat Hunter

October 29, 2008


Do you ever wonder if our local officials are out of touch with the working class, young families, or seniors? Do you think that they ever bother to read the newspaper or turn on the TV to hear the daily news about the bad economic news and recession? In the last couple of months, people in nearby counties have committed suicide when law enforcement officers went to serve them eviction papers after loosing their homes. Yet, officials continue to spend money like its Monopoly money with little or no thought about the people that must pay. 


County and city government approve budgets including school budgets and local government also sets property tax rate. The Directors of Schools and the Tennessee School Boards Associations (TSBA) are  working to change this. There has been no public discussion by the Loudon County Board of Education or Loudon County Commission about this issue. One East Tennessee newspaper ran a story on October 23 about this matter, ..."A resolution being considered by the Tennessee School Boards Association would change that approach, however, by asking the state General Assembly to provide boards of education with taxing authority."


The Tennessee School Board Associations (TSBA) is proposing new legislation that would give school boards taxing authority. This important issue will be up for discussion and vote at the upcoming 2008 Tennessee School Boards Associations (TSBA) Annual Convention, which will be held on Nov. 16-18, 2008 at the Opryland Resort.


Loudon County School’s (BOE) is a member of the TSBA and the School Board has four (4) Delegates based on student population. If approved by a 2/3 vote by TSBA Delegates, the Tennessee School Boards Associations (TSBA) would urge the General Assembly to “take appropriate steps to provide boards of education with taxing authority.” This proposed legislation would then move to the General Assembly and to our state officials Senator Randy McNally, and Representatives Jimmy Matlock and Dennis Ferguson.


What do you think about the Loudon County Board of Education having the authority to tax your property? We have a few good people serving on the school board but they are by no means the majority, which should concern everyone. Do you think a group that can’t seem to manage its own finances or a School Board that doesn’t have the discipline to stay on a budget should have the authority to set your property tax rate?


According to a recent Memorandum by Stephen Smith, legal counsel for the TSBA, the Memorandum dated October 7, 2008 stated, “When asked at the Fall District Meetings if school board should have taxing authority, attendees responded favorably with 57 percent supporting such a change to the law and seven of TSBA’s nine districts supporting the concept with 50 percent or greater approval. All nine districts had more members support taxing authority than oppose it…” The last time that this issue was discussed was in 2005 and according to the MEMO, in that year support was “lower than any time in the prior 8-years.” 


The TSBA Memo and Resolution 16 was distributed to the School Board shortly before the October 16th Loudon County School Board meeting, yet this matter was not on the agenda for discussion by the School Board. Director Wayne Honeycutt recommended that the School Board attend the TSBA conference. This is the same meeting where the majority of the School Board voted to take $10,000 from the Maintenance Department intended to repair aging schools for this Nashville junket. Click to see related Videos Travel Restored – BOE votes for $10,000 trip to Opryland

Public Trust & Confidence -Did some on old School Board Speak with Forked Tongue? 


Why hasn’t this MEMORANDUM & proposed TAXING AUTHORITY RESOLUTION been placed on the School Board agenda for public discussion by Director Wayne Honeycutt, Chairman Leroy Tate or School Board members? Don’t they want public discussion or citizen feedback? The public has a right to know where they stand, please voice your concerns to our elected officials.


School Board Email addresses:

School Board Chairman Leroy Tate: Leroy.Tate@TateandLyle.com

Larry Proaps: proapsl@loudoncounty.org

Bill Marcus: billm@loudoncounty.org

Scott Newman: slenewman@charter.net

Bobby Johnson, Jr.: johnsonb@loudoncounty.org

Steve Harrelson: harrelsons@loudoncounty.org

New School board members

Lisa Russell: LRussell917@aol.com

Van Shaver: SarahLCcom@aol.com

Gary Ubben: ubbeng@loudoncounty.org

Craig Simon: simonc@loudoncounty.org