Monday, May 23, 2011

Knox County Property Tax Increase? Is Wrong Headed

Sources indicate that when Commissioner Broyles and McKenzie recently met at the Time Warp Room they were joined by a group of Knox County employees that were begging for a property tax increase so that they may get a pay raise. Here are three reasons why that is wrong headed.

1) After Phil Ballard took the oath of office as Knox County Property Assessor. He and his staff began raising the values during the reappraisal process. Thus accumulating more taxes, so we had a tax increase in 2009.

2) With this economy and so many people losing their homes due to foreclosure. A property tax increase with so many people on the verge of losing their homes. The last thing Knox County Commission should do is force more people into foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.

3)Regarding our tax money being spent on non profit groups like the Beck Cultural Center. They should implement an admission charge and raise their funds from the private sector. Our government tax dollars should not fund Beck or any other non profit/501-C-3.


Hubert Smith said...

I support everybody's opinion and certainly the owner of this site who is my friend to write what ever he wishes, but please can we separate the facts fffrom fiction. Since The Beck Center was specifically stated and seems to be everybody's whipping boy, I will use it as example. Beck Center community Grant funding comes from one source and one source only; hotel and motel tax dollars which they help to generate. Since everybody has aproblem with Beck complaing about the reduction in funding here is another fact. Thet are the only agency which received a 92% reduction in funding. I wote about this issue last week.!/notes/the-hubert-smith-radio-show/just-when-i-was-about-to-let-down-my-guard/10150188048702665

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in an explanation of Beck Center's IRS 990
Tax form which seem to conflict with the amount of money they raised. I would like to see this with all Non-profits the County or City gives money to, not just Beck Center. To me this is a completely separate issues as to whether the Beck Center is worthy of Tax funding and of Individual citizens support. There does appear to be a discrepancy and look forward to seeing how it can be explained.

your away pal said...

Brian and Hubert are both my friends and I respect each of their opinions. But raising taxes in this economic climate is insane. As for the BCC they are no better than any other 501C3 and I know from direct experience with other 501C3's such as the Boys and Girls CLubs that no other non-profit has 10 times it's annual expenses in cash holdings. Just because they got far more than they should have udner the Ragsdale Admin doesn't mean they are entitled to it continuing.

The cuts have to come somewhere.

Sandy Loy

Hubert Smith said...

Burchett is well within his legal authority to propose a reduction and count commission is within their right to restore it. My prikary issue is the misinformation that Burchett is spreading. He doesn't have that right. One more time, "What ever amount was granted to Beck Center came from hotel and motel tax dollars. The fund which was established to aid organizations which contribute to tourism. NO property or sales tax dollars are applied to the hotel/motel tax fund. It is morally and ethically wrong for Burchett to say that continuing this funding will cause a tax increase. That's a flat lie and if nobody else wil say it I will, LOUDLY!

Sharon Murphree said...

Folks, I appreciate your passion, your frustration and your desire to influence changes. But you are not informed about the source of the funds that the Beck Cultural Exchange Center has access to. The Knoxville/Knox County delegation passed a private bill that became part of the Tennessee Code Annotated [state law] that allows the city and the county to levy a small tax [maximum of total including both: 5%] that each person who stays at a hotel or motel within the Knox County boundaries pays. That money, which was about $5 million dollars in the 2010 fiscal year, can not be used for just anything. It has to be used to help pay off the Knoxville Convention Center bonds, and it also goes to other entities that promote tourism in our county. The Sports Center, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Beck Cultural Center, Blount Mansion, East TN Civil War Alliance, Hazen House Historical Museum Foundation, James White Fort, Marbel Springs -Gov John Sevier Members Assn, and Ramsey House are the entities that have been funded, accoring to the Knox County Budget, for the last couple of years. The above named entities actually help raise these dollars because they bring tourists into the county.
It is NOT TAX MONEY THAT WE AS COMMUNITY RESIDENTS PAY THE COUNTY unless we stay in a hotel or motel.
Please, folks, repeating inaccurate information does nothing to help find solutions in this painfully tight economic time. In fact, it becomes downright harmful, as does inadequate and misleading information coming from county sources that should know better. If you don't know the facts, try to find them out...anything else is irresponsible.

Brian Hornback said...

I am against a property tax increase. I lumped the Community Grant money into the post. I will blog about this dialogue in a seperate post.

But to Sharon and Hubert, I would advocate that Beck receive a portion for EVERY overnight stay that they DIRECTLY contribute to our community. If this ratio is implemented, Mayor Burchett is being very generous. I would estimate that Beck does not put one head in a bed for the hotel/motel tax

your away pal said...

I agree Brian, 95% of Knox Countians don't even know BCC exists much less the rest of the country. I don't see anyone driving/flying to Knox County to go to the BCC.

As for lies, I understand your frustration Hubert...I have been pointing out lies the PBA tells commission every year for months and no one seems to care.

I will be pointing out more at the 6-23 workshop...the lies go deeper than the HVA and contracts. Stay tuned.

Sandy Loy CCM