In response to the comments made by our county commissioners and others, as reported by Lacy Hilliard in the August 15, 2012 Tomahawk, I offer the following.
First, the Johnson County Real Estate taxes have been increased for the 2012 tax year. This had to be approved by the Tennessee State Legislature. Where was our representation to make our lives easier when we have to pay an increase in real estate taxes? People are struggling to make ends meet. Taxes keep going up whether its real estate taxes or the wheel tax. Statements that the wheel tax is more equitable (since I think the commissioners felt that another real estate tax would further erode the real estate market from coming out of its long slump in Johnson County.) Perhaps the county commissioners could vote for lower real estate taxes.
Second, to be equitable in taxing every county resident the same and not a select portion, the commissioners could raise the county sales tax ½ cent or ½ percent with a limit for the tax to expire after, hypothetically two years. Any additional sales tax after the two-year time frame would have to be approved by the county voters.
Thirdly, the Greene County, Tennessee commissioners allowed their constituents to vote and decide how they felt about the wheel tax increase.
This is not about whether we need to increase taxes for services, but rather what tax increase will be more equitable to all Johnson County citizens.
I voted for my country commissioners in the last election and I trust that my vote will be remembered in the next election. I only ask our commissioners to look at legislation and/or ideas a little closer for their Johnson County citizens. I suggest that the commissioners attempt to garner more input from the citizens of Johnson County and not necessarily at the commissioners meetings. I would hope that the commissioners reach out to their constituents more than they have in the past.
George A. Spreyne