Tax Increase Or Investment Opportunity - And Response (2)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Mayor Coppinger has presented us with an exciting opportunity.  I would like to thank him for bringing up this very important issue.  Our schools, our jails, our infrastructure are all in trouble.  Schools that our fathers and grandfathers built are not being maintained.  Poor maintenance is bad business.  It's a pay me now or pay me much more later situation.  

If our schools flounder our neighborhoods and property values will slide, but even more importantly our kids are suffering. This calls for a tough, long term decision.  If we all chip in, just as our forefathers did for us, we can recover from much of the damage that has already been done. 

We have something special here in Chattanooga.  Let's not let all that has been accomplished get away from us. 

Let's all support our leaders as they hopefully put together a plan to explain this to our electorate.  Let's let them know how we feel and offer our assistance. 

Marv Martin

* * *

Five of our schools are performing so poorly the state is threatening to take them over. We have nine more that are in the bottom 10 percent statewide. Well over half of our graduating seniors are not ready for college. 

State education officials explained in a report last year that poor leadership was to blame. Is handing that leadership $100 million in construction capital a path to success for our children? Will a shiny new building or a few coats of paint fix chronic absenteeism, under-performing teachers, and an ineffective administration? 

I urge county officials to look past the band-aid of more, more, more money, and instead make tough decisions on the structural changes our school system needs to succeed. Until those changes have been made and have proven effective, handing money to the school board is equivalent to flushing it down the drain.

Charles McCullough

* * *

 Next week, the Hamilton County Commissioners, and County Mayor Jim Coppinger will vote to ignore the "certified rate" and revert to a method that will result in a property tax increase for most Hamilton County homeowners.  ( es, Mr. Graham, if it walks and talks like a duck, it's a tax increase.)
If they are going to vote to raise taxes on a majority of our citizens, and they surely will, since those decisions are made well before any public forum, believe me, you need to pay attention.  The only thing all citizens can and must do is rise up and fight for our most vulnerable.  Those seniors that are living on fixed incomes and pensions that as a result will have to choose between food or medicine.  What new jail, water treatment plant, school, or school maintenance project should be approved on the backs of these long-forgotten citizens.
The state approved a senior tax freeze years ago, and time after time Hamilton County politicians have either ignored or excused not voting for that protection for our most vulnerable, even as they have cried "it's for the children" as high-paid school administrators ride the coat tails of our underpaid teachers to raise their salaries while our seniors continue to suffer. At least this time they say that part is not on the table.  Well, this time there are no excuses.  Enough is enough.  No commissioner should support or vote for any property tax increase without an amendment that finally includes a seniors property tax freeze. Common decency demands it.
They will "discuss" it next Wednesday, (8:30 a.m. is your time to speak) at the County Commission meeting. I encourage hundreds of you to join me and show up to fight for our seniors.  In fact I highly encourage each of you to call your district County Commissioner and demand, yes demand that they include language in this property tax increase (and they will pass it) that finally includes language for the long overdue senior tax freeze. 
Believe me, politicians only act on hot button issues when they get overwhelmed with calls from their constituents.  Do your part and call (423) 209-7200, and ask to be put through to your County Commissioner, or their voice mail.
Don't assume someone else will be there in your place.  This time please set aside the time to make your voice heard or just be there to support those of us who will be there to fight for our elderly.
Bill Reesor


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