The Games Politicians Play - Education a Political Football



Whatever happened to the Adequate Facilities Tax

for Constructing Schools?

By: Pat Hunter


Do you remember when Loudon County Commissioners voted to impose a new development tax in the name of education, whatever happened to that revenue stream?


On September 11, 2006  and again on October 2006, commissioners voted to enact an Adequate Facilities Tax for Schools on new residential development. The purpose of the School Tax was supposedly to bring additional revenue to counties experiencing high growth by build new classrooms while giving relief to property owners.  The state system of revenue for counties and cities has relied on property tax and sales tax revenues to fund the lion’s share of education.


In addition to levying the Schools Adequate Facilities Tax, commissioners also adopted the Capital Improvement Plan for schools. Commission Minutes indicate that Commissioners adopted a $195.6 Million Capital Improvement Plan. Tennessee law T.C.A. 67-4-2909 states that a Capital Improvement Program, provide anticipated cost estimates for the purchase, construction, and/or replacement of physical assets.  Commission approved a lofty $195.6 Million Loudon County Multi-Year Capital Projects Plan. According to Commissioner Don Miller's preliminary finance plan, this would be paid for with large property tax increases, a new wheel tax, and a sales tax increase, which was rejected by the public. 


Commissioners approved an independent study conducted by the Public Building Authority (PBA). The Study's Capital Improvement Plan was $47,557,500. This Study was paid for with $43,675 of county taxpayer money. This middle of the road School Construction Plan would provide a new school to the Greenback Community and renovations and repairs for other schools.


Lastly, the Loudon County Board of Education approved a $147 Million School Building Plan based on cost estimates and student population.


Commissioners levied a $1 per square foot tax on all new residential building to defray the costs of providing school buildings to meet the needs of growth.


The anticipated AFT revenue stream was projected at $1 Million yearly. County officials have publicly stated that county building permit activity has not slowed down so where’s the projected $1 Million new tax monies for the school building program?


How many more millions do these politicians need before they start to fix the school buildings that they neglected to fix for 30-years? 



Adequate Facilities Tax Tennessee Counties- CTAS 2008