Randy Fairbanks, challenger for assessor of property, hit incumbent Marty Haynes for not owning any property in Hamilton County.
Mr. Fairbanks said in mailers and a youtube video, "It's no wonder he's lost touch with the taxpayers of Hamilton County."
He said in a poll that 94.8 percent of respondents felt the assessor should be a property owner.
Mr. Fairbanks also said, "To begin with, Marty is the one who is entirely bringing up this information. There’s never been a reference to his mother or family. I and everyone who knows Marty’s sweet mother, Ms. Norma, totally sympathizes with what she has had to go through. It’s a terrible thing that thousands of families each year have to contend with when their aging parents become sickly and need to qualify for government assistance. But, that was not the point of my ad – and Marty Haynes knows this!
"I was making a simple point that Marty is not a property owner – and really hasn’t been a property owner for many years – that’s it. Here’s how I interpret Marty’s long response explanation and I believe it is how others will see it: In order to help qualify Ms. Norma for assistance, she transferred the title to Marty to be the custodian of her home, then he sold it to his son and he used what amounted to being Ms. Norma’s funds to help pay for her medical needs. And while I would have done the very same thing in that situation, that actually shows that Marty was not really the owner of the property in the sense that most people would think of.
"A point also to be noted here is until I raised this issue Marty Haynes never explained it that way. He presented the story many times to those of us who know him as if he purchased his mother’s house with his own money and then used his funds from selling the house to pay for the medical expenses. Until now, Marty would not even mention the fact that he had been living in his mother’s house during that time or that he did an inside sale to a family member and still continues to live in the house. As I said, we were in the same circles and knew what was going on.
"Marty is doing what he always does – presenting himself in a favorable light to slant the simple facts I present. It took my spending a great sum of my campaign funds on this question to get Marty Haynes to finally tell the whole truth – but yet he’s still slanting it in a way to make himself look like he did something charitable when all he did was use his mother’s money –and that’s the simple truth. But with Marty, there’s the truth and then there’s Marty’s version of the truth.
"Every time I have presented the simple truth and facts, Marty Haynes attacks me for “negative campaigning.” He attacks me for presenting the facts about him. I’m a CPA and I only know how to do things by the book. I present the facts as is and I always have the documentation to back up what I say.
"In comparison, I am a real homeowner and always have been, and I feel I can relate far better with other property owners when it comes to understanding all the problems and responsibilities you have deal with when it comes to owning property. Your Assessor should be a fellow Hamilton County property owner, that’s all there is to it. As one person I heard put it best, “Marty Haynes has no skin in the game.”
Mr. Haynes responded to the Fairbanks charge, "It’s been clear from the beginning of this campaign my challenger has decided to run a negative campaign, relying on direction from those who specialize in negative campaigns.
"Unfortunately, the latest attack has forced me to discuss my mother’s declining health over the last decade, and why I don’t currently own property in Hamilton County. Despite what my challenger says, he is using this issue to score cheap political points.
"The responsibility to provide care for my mom falls on me, and I take this responsibility very seriously. The truth of the matter is I have owned three homes in Hixson since 1984, and I have paid property taxes for all but six of the last 36 years. In 2008, I sold my home at 1301 Windbrook Lane. In 2009, my Dad passed away from a long battle with lung disease. In 2011, I took ownership of my mom’s home at 4214 Forest Plaza Drive and paid property taxes until I sold the home to my son, Miller Haynes, at a fair market value. It’s true, I lived with my Mom for several years and provided care for her the best way I knew how. In 2015, Mom suffered a life threatening illness and was in ICU for three months. After a year of caring for her at home, it became apparent she needed more care than I was able to provide. The decision was to made move Mom to an assisted living facility. Many families across this county face similar challenges and know how difficult this move is for a parent and the family.
"My Mom is a tough lady and has survived 19 surgeries since 2013. Her body is racked with arthritis and lives in a wheelchair. At 86 years old, the cheap political stunt by my challenger has embarrassed her. As the old saying goes 'negative attacks say more about the person making the attack than the person being attacked.' The current negative campaign by my challenger is exactly what’s wrong with politics today. I have never used a poll to make a decision or run a campaign. If polls were accurate, Hillary Clinton would be our president today.
"Throughout this campaign, I have focused on my record as Assessor of Property, the accomplishments of my office and the fact that I kept the promises I made to the public as a candidate in 2016."
Mr. Haynes earlier said, "For the past 12 years, I have worked hard to take care of my mother Norma and her healthcare issues in the best way possible. Unfortunately, doing the right thing is not always the best course of action when it comes to politics. As you likely know, my challenger in this race has taken this race to a new low by criticizing me for not owning property while being employed as your assessor of property.
"He is right, I do not currently own a piece of property in Hamilton County. As with most of the dirty politics today, there is a simple answer that explains why I am not currently a property owner.
"First, I have owned property and paid property taxes for more than 30 years. In 2008, I decided to sell my house and use the proceeds to pay off lingering medical bills from my father’s long battle with lung disease. At that time, my mother decided to sign over her home to me in order to protect her assets.
"As my mother’s health declined, I moved back home to help take care of her. In 2015, my mother suffered a major illness where she spent three months in ICU fighting for her life. After two years of trying to care for her at home, I, like so many of you, had to make the difficult decision to move her to an assisted living facility. In 2018, my son – Miller – wanted to enter the real estate market and inquired about buying my house to help pay for the rising costs of private healthcare for my mother.
"The public record will show the deed for 4214 Forest Plaza Dr. was in my name from 2011-2018. It was my property, and I paid the property taxes.
"The truth is owning this property provided my mother with the best of both worlds. She had 24/7 private care at The Terrace and was able to visit and stay at her old house several times a year. She couldn't be happier. While this was not an easy decision, it was one that I made with honor and without any hesitation. Looking back, I know I did the right thing and set the right example for my two sons and others who may face a similar decision one day.
"Throughout this campaign, I have taken the high road and offered specific reasons why I deserve to be re-elected as your Assessor of Property. My opponent has not, and that is truly unfortunate."