The Value Of Moccasin Bend

  • Monday, April 22, 2024

I keep reading about Moccasin Bend, arguments and opinions this way and that way and every which way concerning the use of that land.  As with all arguments, there are at least two sides and usually several sides.

What troubles me about the Moccasin Bend land is something that I've never heard mentioned:  The great majority of Moccasin Bend land area is tied up in 'public' operations, government ownership and operations that eat up tax money rather than paying taxes for the public good.

Consider this:  Around here (as nearly everywhere), waterfront property is considered prime stuff.  I've watched narrow little pieces of land on the far-out backwaters of Wolftever Creek go from a price of $1,500 or so to valuations of $200,000 and more. So it seems reasonable to think that the land around Moccasin Bend, hundreds and hundreds of acres with five miles or more of waterfront, is among the most valuable in Chattanooga.  And 'fair market value' is supposedly the motto of land assessors, the basis of property taxes.

But precious little of that choice riverside land on Moccasin Bend is privately owned and paying taxes. Most of it is owned by one government or another. And, say what you will, that means it is costing all of us individual local citizens money, because it isn't paying its own way in the grand scheme of taxation.

Seriously, is there anything -- other than the sewage treatment plant -- being done by any government (national, state, county, or city) on Moccasin Bend that couldn't be done equally well elsewhere? It's all 'publicly' owned, yet I suspect that if I were to set foot on nearly any part of that territory I would be asked to take myself somewhere else in a hurry.

It's a fair question, and one that's not likely to be given either fair consideration or a fair answer. Asking that question is about as profitable as wondering how both 'moccasin' and 'mocassin' seem to be correct spellings of that word. Oh, on the land use and on the word spelling, everyone may have an opinion, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer for either question. [Yeah, I do know that 'moccasin' is the preferred spelling now, but its counterpart hasn't been fully outlawed or eradicated.]

Larry Cloud

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