Those who voted for the budget caused the tax increase

There is some discussion about seven commissioners voting no on the tax rate increase and one commissioner abstaining.  While the vote on the tax rate is certainly important, two of those commissioners voted for the budget which caused the tax increase.  Thus, their no vote and abstention on the tax rate vote is contradictory.

Under the state law, the commission is required annually to vote on two separate resolutions, the appropriations (budget) resolution and the property tax rate resolution.  If the commissioner voted for the budget requiring the tax increase, they were for the tax increase regardless of whether they had the courage to vote yes on the tax rate.  There is no way to pay for the budget that just passed the commission without a property tax increase.  Thus, a no vote or abstention vote on the tax rate but a yes vote on the budget has no credibility.  There were only six commissioner who voted no on both the budget and the tax rate.  The other fifteen commissioners caused the tax increase, even if two failed to take responsibility for their actions by voting yes on the huge property tax increase.

Tax Rate Vote:
Yes- Andy Allen, Shawn Carter, Rick Carver, Grady Caskey, Mike Caylor, Dodd Crowe, Gary Farmer, Ron French, Jeff Headrick, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jerome Moon and Steve Samples
No- Mike Akard, Archie Archer, Brad Bowers, Tom Cole, Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe
Abstain- Tom Stinnett

Compare that to the budget vote which required a tax increase to pay for, since no effort was made to balance the budget at current revenues.

Budget Appropriations Vote:
Yes- Andy Allen, Brad Bowers, Shawn Carter, Rick Carver, Grady Caskey, Mike Caylor, Dodd Crowe, Gary Farmer, Ron French, Jeff Headrick, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jermone Moon, Steve Samples and Tom Stinnett
No- Mike Akard, Archie Archer, Tom Cole, Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe

Commissioner Brad Bowers’s no vote on the tax rate resolution and Tom Stinnett’s abstention vote on the tax rate resolution contradict their votes for the budget.  These two caused the tax increase with their votes for the budget that used the tax increase to fund it.  Don’t let them tell you any differently.

This is an age old tactic that some commissioners have played in the past voting for the budget that required a tax increase to fund it while voting no on the tax rate so that they can tell their constituents that they didn’t vote for a tax increase.  It’s political doublespeak.

It would be better for both resolutions to be voted on at once so that politicians can quit playing this game with their constituents.

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  1. Pingback: June 2015 Commission Report | Blount County (BC) Public Record

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