Tellico Village Relief Act - $50 Wheel Tax


Commentary By: Richard Truitt


I would like to speak on the wheel tax, A/K/A Tellico Village Relief Act.  In my lifetime, I have always been amazed how the more affluent can think of a tax to place on the less affluent and call it fair.  All people in the county pay property taxes.  Renters pay property taxes, itís figured in the bill.  It has been stated that the $50 wheel tax would equal 20 cents on the property tax.  20 cents on a million dollar home is $500 additional.  A $50,000 home is $25 additiona.  If each one of these families had two cars, which would be $100, itís very easy to see who benefits.


What you have here is Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the poor to give to the rich.  The bottom is already stuck with the highest food tax in the nation.  Commission, at the start of every meeting, says a prayer.  I hope the Good Lord is looking down on this Commission when you tax the poor to give to the rich.  Thatís simply what youíre doing.


Tellico Village Commissioner Don Miller, who seems to have floated the wheel tax, has stated that the lower part of the community couldnít stand a huge property tax increase.  From the facts Iíve given you, itís clear to anyone that the wheel tax is much more a burden than a property tax.  The wheel tax simply helps the more affluent.  It canít be stated any way.


What youíre going to do is take the tax off people who can best afford a tax and place it on those who can least afford a tax.


Tennessee doesnít have an income tax.  This attracts people.  Thatís perfectly fine.  What isnít fine is to then devise a plan to take the property tax off these people and place it on others.


A Ĺ cent sales tax and a $50 wheel tax, according to Commissioner Miller, would equal 29 cents on the property tax.  If you took 29 cents off the property tax, who do you think it would help Ė someone in a million dollar home or a $50,000 home?


I would like to reply to Commissioner  Bob Franke's comments in support of the wheel tax.  Commissioner Franke quoted the average price for a home in Loudon County as $135,000, tax $621 add 20 cents in property tax, $689 minus $621 = $68, one car. 


However, the average price isnít $135,000.  Itís $184,000, tax $845 plus 20 cents property tax equals $935 minus $845 = $90.  Not such a good deal with one car.


The median average on a home in Loudon County is $135,000.  Median is where you line a group of numbers in a line and pick the one in the middle, which to me seems to be 21st century witchcraft.  It seems to be one of two things.  Commissioner Bob Franke either deliberately misled the public or Mr. Franke doesnít know what he is talking about.  However, you donít pay property taxes on statistics.  Which reminds me of a comment made by Mark Twain Ė There lies, damn lies, and statistics.


The School Board endorsed the Wheel Tax, with two dissenting votes, D-5 Freddie Walker and D-4 Leroy Tate.  The place you would expect to find some compassion would be the School Board.  Compassion is defined as a sympathetic awareness of the distress of others along with a desire to ease that distress.  There seems to be no compassion there.  This School Board seems happy to build its school on the backs of the less affluent.


Now the person who introduced the Resolution, School Board member Bill Marcus, is rethinking his position on the wheel tax.  Wonder why?  Maybe as he talks to people in his district, there is not a ground swell for it.  Another endorsee, School Board member Nancy Paule who seconded Marcusís motion now describes it as regressive.