Exactly, How Many Tax Increases are they planning?


Budget Chairman Mayor Doyle Arp & Commissioner Bob Franke, Budget Committee member from D-3 Greenback.


Keeping the Public in the Dark


By: Pat Hunter


At the June 2, Loudon County Commission, outgoing School Director Edward Headlee started off his comments about the proposed Wheel Tax Resolution by sharing with everyone how he had not seen the wording on the $50 wheel tax paperwork. But Director Headlee wasn't alone, it seems like the public wasn't provided a copy of the $50 Wheel Tax Resolution, either.


Commissioner Bob Franke handed out copies of the Wheel Tax Resolution to officials sitting at the roomy conference table at the May 19th workshop meeting, but he conveniently forgot to provide copies to the public. The copy machines were right across the hall way. The county IT employee was present but he just sat there with his laptop. Matter of fact, Loudon County government maintains a website that alleges to include Commissioner Packet information but other then the June 2, 2008 Agenda and meeting minutes pdf, the $50 wheel tax resolution was not posted to the government website.    


Commissioner Flip Flops

Some of Wheel Tax intended for roads & infrastructure 



During the Budget Committee meetings regarding the proposed Fiscal Year 2008-2009 County Budget, the Budget Committee was concerned about making up the difference of about $260,000 and whatever else was needed by the Highway Department. The Highway Department budget included two large expenditures, one was for the hiring of additional part-time personnel and for the high cost of hot mix asphalt. Facing a potential budget deficit and possible revenue shortfall, the Budget Committee still approved a $10,000 pay supplement to the Highway Superintendent.


Video Clip  At the May 19th workshop meeting, Commissioner Franke suggested allocating at least $5 possibly $10 to the Highway Department since the wheel tax was designed for roads and infrastructure. At the June 2nd commission meeting, Commissioner Franke then flip flopped from his original recommendation. He decided that money should go exclusively to the Capital School Building Plan, which Commissioners have yet to vote or approve.


What exactly did Commissioner Franke mean when he commented that they would have to look at other sources after he suggested that all wheel tax revenue would now go to the school building plan? How many more tax increases do commissioners have in mind? When will Commissioners tighten their belts? It appears that some county officeholders just can't seem to live within their budgets as tax increases are being discussed.