www:thehunterreport.com

 

COMMISSION'S OPTION 4

 

 

  VIDEO CLIP AMEND BUDGET + TAX RATE = TAX HIKE

(D-2) Austin Shaver (l), (D-1) Nancy Marcus -blue, (D-3) Bob Franke, D-5 Harold Duff   

                       (D-1) Meers (l), D-7 Don Miller, D-2 Earlena Maples

   VIDEO CLIP  MILLER- UBBEN TAX HIKE PLAN (July 26, 2010 Loudon County Workshop Meeting)

TAX HIKE  - WHEN?  HOW MUCH?

By: Pat Hunter

August 30, 2010

At last month's July 26th Loudon County Commission workshop meeting, Tellico Village District 7 Budget Committee/Commissioner Don Miller made a presentation to commissioners regarding funding of Phase 1 school building program. Don Miller presented and discussed several options. One of Don Miller's options included amending the budget and property tax rate (tax hike) after Commission adopted the budget and tax rate on June 7, 2010. Conveniently, the press wasn't around to show or tell but THE HUNTER REPORT captured every word for you to see and hear. This plan was first suggested by Loudon County Board of Education Vice Chairman Gary Ubben to other school board members after a Maintenance Committee meeting and Commission was informed about this matter at the June 7 Commission meeting.

Workshop meeting attendees included Loudon County Commission Chairman (D-4) Roy Bledsoe and commissioners (D-7) Don Miller, (D-5) Harold Duff, (D-3) Bob Franke, (D-2) Austin Shaver, (D-2) Earlena Maples, (D-1) David Meers, and (D-1) Nancy Marcus. Absent: Commissioner (D-5) Chris Park and (D-6) Wayne Gardin. Others in the attendance: Loudon County Board of Education (BOE) school director Wayne Honeycutt, Sissy Foster (Special Education Supervisor), Allyson Milsaps (Food Services Supervisor), District 5 school board members Van Shaver and Vice Chairman Gary Ubben and his wife Sharron Yarbrough, newly elected 5th District Seat B commissioner, Community Techtonics architect Don Shell and VP Merit Construction Buddy Heins.

Comm. Don Miller spoke about funding options for the building program. He distributed two handouts captioned FUNDING OF SCHOOL BUILDING PROGRAM - PROPERTY TAX IMPLEMENTATION - 7/26/10, and CONTINUING, SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN SCHOOL OPERATING EXPENSE BUDGETS AND MAJOR CONCERN. Miller said that the Finance Director had estimated that the County could borrow $11 Million without a tax increase after Commission's vote to give the School Board $1Million in additional money for operating expenses.

Miller shared various scenarios and assumptions and next year's property tax increase, which he estimated between 22 to 30 cents per $100 property value. Miller felt that we were headed for a financial train wreck down the road because of the schools spending. Miller gave some alarming spending statistics and spoke about two tax increases because of school spending. We can't keep raising taxes each year because of this trend.        

Commissioner Don Miller spoke about accountability and school Board spending and requested that Commission write a letter to the Loudon County Board of Education Administration asking them to "analyze increased costs over the last 5-7 years." Commissioner Miller explained that he would write a draft letter to send to other commissioners for their input before Commission voted to approve the letter to the Board of Ed and school administrators. He asked for commissioners input by phone and email and even suggested using Loudon County Commission's On-Line Forum but then did not use the Forum to communicate with some other commissioners.

Miller mentioned that he is willing to support increases to schools if "they are clearly justified" and pointed out that he has voted for tax increases.

Finance Director Blair spoke about her discussion with the Tennessee Comptroller's Office of Local Finance. Local Finance did not recommend funding a portion of the school building project. Local Finance also recommended hiring a financial advisor to help the County with the issuance of debt because of the large size of anticipated debt.  

Four options for funding the school building program:   

 

 VIDEO CLIP  MILLER- UBBEN TAX HIKE PLAN (July 26, 2010 Loudon County Workshop Meeting)

 

July 26 Commission workshop meeting attendees: Back - Alyson Millsap,  (D-5) Sharon Yarbrough glasses and husband BOE Vice Chairman Gary Ubben scratching head

Don Shell-Community Techtonics (l),  Buddy Heins VP Merit Construction

 

Tax Talk

 

This budget cycle, the Loudon County Budget Committee met for months to examine the proposed FY 10-11 budget. Budget Committee/Commissioner Don Miller didn't propose raising property taxes before the Primary and County General Election. Instead he spoke about hard economic times, high unemployment and hardships that a tax increase would bring to people in these difficult times.

Miller's AMEND the budget and tax rate is the very same plan that Loudon County Board of Education Vice Chairman Gary Ubben shared with other school Board members Steve Harrelson and Lisa Russell after a BOE Maintenance/Building Committee meeting, and school board workshop. Gary Ubben suggested that the school Board request that the new Commission AFTER September 1 amend the budget before tax bills go out in early October. School Board Vice Chairman Gary Ubben's wife Sharon Yarbrough was just elected as new commissioner for Seat B District 5.

Over the last 4 years, the school building program has been discussed ample times with various tax increase scenarios ranging from 30 cents, 50 cents and 65 cents per $100 value of property.

In 2006, Loudon County Commission levied a new school tax (Adequate Facilities Tax (AFT) of $1 per square foot on new residential construction. This tax continues to generate revenues for school construction, over $1.7 Million year to date. An independent $49,000 taxpayer funded Public Building Authority (PBA School needs Study) recommended one new school in Greenback and renovations to eight other schools for a total of $47Million. The School Board ignored the PBA Study and voted on their own  Phase 1 $47Million new Loudon Middle school, new Greenback School, Philadelphia cafeteria and co-joining Loudon Elem and Ft. Loudon Middle school..

In 2008, at the May 19 Commission workshop meeting, Budget Committee Commissioner Don Miller proposed an eight (8) cent property tax increase for schools and ... shifting another 5 cents away from all the other (county) departments and giving it to the schools for the debt fund... If you just take what the schools asked us for (yearly operating budget), it would require 46 cents property tax increase. That puts everything in perspective... Once the new school superintendent comes on board - we are looking at another 65 cents for the new building program (PHASE 1)...  Video Clip  Commissioner Don Miller... Another 65 cents for the new building program (PHASE 1)

In 2009, a property reappraisal year, $1 million more was added to county coffers while county and school board continued to spend drawing down from healthy reserves.

Just last summer, Budget Committee member Don Miller tried to explain to another Budget Committee member Commissioner Harold Duff how planning is essential since the operating budget and building plan come from the same pot of taxpayer monies.  Video Clip  Commissioner Harold Duff Well, 50 cents ought to do it... that ought to be enough."

At a recent Loudon County Budget Committee meeting concerning the FY 10-11 operating school budget and school building program, Budget Committee 1st District Loudon Commissioner David Meers commented... Commissioner David Meers ... And there are some things that AFTER THE ELECTION I think that people can look at trying to revisit and generate some additional revenue with the help of the school board. I won't say anything on that until after the election. What exactly was Commissioner Meers talking about? 

 

TAX HIKE

Do You favor a Property Tax Increase AFTER September 1 when new Commission takes office?

 
  Tax rate per $100 assessed value

Property Tax Increase

20 cent   30 cent   40 cent   50 cent  

CURRENT

increase   increase   increase   increase  

Appraised Value

1.5869 1.7869

Increase

1.8869 Increase 1.9869 Increase 2.0869

Increase

                             
30,000 $119.02 $134.02 $15.00 $141.52 $22.50 $149.02 $30.00 $156.52 $37.50
50,000 $198.36 $223.36 $25.00 $235.86 $37.50 $248.36 $50.00 $260.86 $62.50          
60,000 $238.04 $258.04 $30.00 $283.04 $40.00 $298.04 $60.00 $313.04 $75.00
84,000 $333.25 $375.25 $42.00 $396.25 $63.00 $417.25 $84.00 $438.25 $105.00
100,000 $396.73 $446.73 $50.00 $471.73 $75.00 $496.73 $100.00 $521.73 $125.00
117,000 $464.17 $522.67 $58.50 $551.92 $87.75 $581.17 $117.00 $610.42 $146.25
125,000 $495.91 $558.41 $62.50 $589.66 $93.75 $620.91 $125.00 $652.16 $156.25
135,000 $535.58 $603.08 $67.50 $636.83 $101.25 $670.58 $135.00 $704.33 $168.75
150,000 $595.09 $670.09 $75.00 $707.59 $112.50 $745.09 $150.00 $782.59 $187.50
180,000 $714.11 $804.11 $90.00 $849.11 $135.00 $894.11 $180.00 $939.11 $225.00
200,000 $793.45 $893.45 $100.00 $943.45 $150.00 $993.45 $200.00 $1,043.45 $250.00
250,000 $991.81 $1,116.81 $125.00 $1,179.31 $187.50 $1,241.81 $250.00 $1,304.31 $312.50
270,000 $1,071.16 $1,206.16 $135.00 $1,273.66 $202.50 $1,341.16 $270.00 $1,408.66 $337.50
300,000 $1,190.18 $1,340.18 $150.00 $1,415.18 $225.00 $1,490.18 $300.00 $1,565.18 $375.00
350,000 $1,388.54 $1,563.54 $175.00 $1,651.04 $262.50 $1,738.54 $350.00 $1,826.04 $437.50
400,000 $1,586.90 $1,786.90 $200.00 $1,886.90 $300.00 $1,986.90 $400.00 $2,086.90 $500.00
450,000 $1,785.26 $2,010.26 $225.00 $2,122.76 $337.50 $2,235.26 $450.00 $2,347.76 $562.50
500,000 $1,983.63 $2,233.63 $250.00 $2,358.63 $375.00 $2,483.63 $500.00 $2,608.63 $625.00
550,000 $2,181.99 $2,456.99 $275.00 $2,594.49 $412.50 $2,731.99 $550.00 $2,869.49 $687.50
600,000 $2,380.35 $2,680.35 $300.00 $2,830.35 $450.00 $2,980.35 $600.00 $3,130.35 $750.00
650,000 $2,578.71 $2,903.71 $325.00 $3,066.21 $487.50 $3,228.71 $650.00 $3,391.21 $812.50
700,000 $2,777.08 $3,127.08 $350.00 $3,302.08 $525.00 $3,477.08 $700.00 $3,652.08 $875.00
750,000 $2,975.44 $3,350.44 $375.00 $3,537.94 $562.50 $3,725.44 $750.00 $3,912.94 $937.50
800,000 $3,173.80 $3,573.80 $400.00 $3,773.80 $600.00 $3,973.80 $800.00 $4,173.80 $1,000.00
850,000 $3,372.16 $3,797.16 $425.00 $4,009.66 $637.50 $4,222.16 $850.00 $4,434.66 $1,062.50
900,000 $3,570.53 $4,020.53 $450.00 $4,245.53 $675.00 $4,470.53 $900.00 $4,695.53 $1,125.00
1,000,000 $3,967.25 $4,467.25 $500.00 $4,717.25 $750.00 $4,967.25 $1,000.00 $5,217.25 $1,250.00
1,500,000 $5,950.88 $6,700.88 $750.00 $7,075.88 $1,125.00 $7,450.88 $1,500.00 $7,825.88 $1,875.00
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08-30-2010