Quit squeezing the life out of Roane County taxpayers

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The last reassessment (our property saw an increase of 74 percent) caused me to pay more attention to the Roane County Commission’s tax-and-tax-and-tax policies.

It was reported by this paper on July 4, 2012, with the headline “County budget headed for a vote” buried on Page 5, where Mr. Woody also projected a 27-cent tax rate increase would be needed for schools next year.

To quote the Roane County News on Mr. Woody, “he believes the current direction of the county school budget could lead to a budget crisis next year.”

Mr. Woody referred to the current school situation as “kicking the can down the road.”

I wonder if it was last night they think I was born.

According to all reports, our county commissioners have worked diligently to get our spending under control.

I recall reading how, with Woody’s guidance, we have agreed to a spending program for the next 30 years — with the exception of schools and roads.

After reading the article, I said to my wife, “I know where the increases will be next year.”

Maybe we need to see how other counties are actually presenting budgets with no tax increases.

To the new director of schools, I would say we never said the job would be easy.

It’s comical to read how we need a 19-cent increase; no, wait, we can do with a 14-cent increase, so let’s ask for a 17-cent increase and see what we get.

How about we start from the perspective of no school budget increase and see what we can do without?

The state of Tennessee has cut funds due to fewer students; shouldn’t we be looking at consolidation rather than expansion, or even maintaining until our student population starts to show growth again.

Shouldn’t we consider postponing the new band room and other projects until we can better forecast the needs of our community? We all know band is important, but since we now face more  tax increases to resolve a jail crisis, as predicted by our Sheriff Jack Stockton,  maybe now isn’t the time for new capital expenditures.

Cutting taxes will go further in drawing families to Roane County than spending every dollar squeezed from its current voters.

There is no doubt in my mind with all the smart people we have in Roane County government there are other solutions to this “latest crisis” besides more pie.

Steve Boyes
Roane County