The Blount County Commission consists entirely of Republicans who claim to espouse positions of low tax and small government but actions speak louder than words. There are now only 3 commissioners who have not voted for a property tax rate that is 15% higher than when they took office in September of 2014, or in the case of Peggy Lambert, left office.
The tax rate for fiscal year (FY) 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) was $2.15. In FY 16 the commission raised the tax rate to $2.47. The tax rate approved for FY 17 is also $2.47.
Last year (FY 16) commissioners Mike Akard, Archie Archer, Tom Cole, Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe voted no on both the tax rate (increase) and the annual budget resolutions. Commissioner Brad Bowers pulled a Steve Hargis by voting for the budget resolution while voting no on the tax rate resolution. Commissioner Tom Stinnett took the courageous position of abstaining on the tax rate resolution while voting for the budget resolution. Neither Bowers or Stinnett should be taken seriously by voters in the future because you can’t vote for most, or all, of the spending without voting for the taxes to pay for the spending.
This year leaves no doubt on their tax and spend ways. Commissioner Mike Akard was absent from the Commission meeting but he voted no on the tax rate and budget resolutions at the Agenda Committee meeting. Commissioners Karen Miller and Tona Monroe voted no on both the tax rate resolution and budget resolutions at both the Agenda Committee meeting and Commission meeting.
Commissioners Archie Archer, Brad Bowers, Tom Cole, Jamie Daly, Peggy Lambert and Tom Stinnett all joined the tax and spend crowd this year by voting yes to both the $2.47 tax rate resolution and the annual budget resolution that is partially funded by the $2.47 property tax rate.
Commissioners Archer, Cole and Daly showed the people that they lack firm principles by voting against the tax rate last year and then turning the other way and voting for it this year. Commissioners Bowers and Stinnett showed last year that they have no principles by their contradictory and cowardly votes last year, respectively. Peggy Lambert recently wrote that she never voted a tax increase in comments on BC Public Record’s website but a few days later voted for a tax rate that was 15% higher than when she left office in 2014. Her hypocrisy is clear. The rest of the commissioners reaffirmed their tax and spend ways. These commissioners include Andy Allen, Shawn Carter, Rick Carver, Grady Caskey, Mike Caylor, Dodd Crowe, Gary Farmer, Ron French, Mike Lewis, Kenneth Melton, Jerome Moon and Steve Samples.