There’s a new property [tag-tec]tax[/tag-tec] controversy brewing. Now Tennessee developers have passed their costs for new growth on to others. Why? High taxation is bad for business- don’t ya know? Our governor said so once as he was courting big businesses to the state.
Here’s what’s happening. Last spring a new law was passed by the General Assembly which stops counties from increasing development fees. That only means one thing. The developers won’t be paying for the new growth.
So where’s the money going to be coming from?
You guessed it. Us.
It’s not official yet, and the counties are doing everything humanly possible to keep property taxes down, or so they claim. But you can almost bet the kitchen sink property taxes will rise in many TN. counties.
Is it fair? Is it right? Isn’t it bad for our businesses?
Here’s my opinion. New growth is new growth. The new people need to pay for their services. If new schools are needed for their children then they need to foot the bill. Not a 77 year old retiree like Jerry Dement who lives on a farm in Lascassas, TN.
Here’s the real problem. Costs were going up so fast, too fast. Rutherford County, TN, one of the fastest growing counties in the southeast, was planning on raising the development fee from $1,500 per residential housing unit to upwards of $3,000 per unit. Folks, that’s too much, too fast. No wonder the developers and real estate agents were in a tizzy.
Those of us who believe in keeping costs down and controlling spending know there’s a better way. Dime-watching. That’s a way of life with us. We know how to make those dimes go as far as humanly possible. Unfortunately, city, state and the federal governments don’t even think in that direction, much less practice it.
So what about the future?
Make government accountable for each dime. Kind of like an audit. Exactly where is all that money going and exactly how is it being spent? We’re not going to get the right answers unless we start asking and demanding the right questions.