Letters: Budgeting advice to leaders

Johnson City Press • May 20, 2018 at 6:00 AM

In Monday’s Question of the Week, we asked you to give advice to elected leaders as they head into budgeting season. Here are some of your responses.

Live within our means

I can think of things the Commission should not do. One idea that seems to be floating around is to increase the appraisal value on property if that is legal under state law. Absolutely not especially on top of the recent 40 cents property tax increase.

Another idea is to place a wheel tax on vehicles. Again absolutely not!

Another idea that was floated around by Johnson City leaders in the past was to increase the property tax rate on rural residents or rather folks living in unincorporated areas. Suck it up, Johnson City and quit paying out thousands for studies to firms whose only ideas are more bike trails and green spaces. There is a real return on investment!

Actually the county is required by law to fund a county school system but not a city school system. The city on its own chose that route many years ago. Maybe the county should look at what they give back to the city every cycle.

How about saving money by not buying up land for an Industrial Park that has borne no fruit for years? Too late as that has already been done I believe to the tune of around $800K. How about not buying up land next to the Jonesborough schools? How about making sure that all business entities within the county are paying their fair share of property taxes such as Ballad Health? Stop giving away money to entities such as ETSU ($1 million, I think it was) for a performing arts center? How about making sure that the various county departments are being operated efficiently?

How about living within taxes collected?


Invest in teachers

To avoid a teachers’ strike in Tennessee, follow the tax cut pioneered by our leaders in Washington, D.C., that reduced income taxes.

You owe K-12 teachers a 20 percent pay increase and a larger education budget to keep our kids competitive. You can free up money to finance the plan by reducing the sales tax, and your expenditure on teachers will pay for itself, just as is happening under federal government tax policy.

If someone objects that state law prevents such spending, wake up your politicians to the opportunity to serve the people who serve you.

Don’t forget those who also serve: the librarians, sanitation, fire police and other personnel.

Johnson City

New logo is under your noses

Although the city’s logo has been around a long time and been widely used on many city items, it was never a good one. It was not easily recognizable and left the audience wondering what it was trying to identify.

Now city officials recognize the need for a new one that will better identify the city. But do we have to spend $100K or whatever when a good one is right under their nose or above their heads.

Let’s take a look at the dynamic new sign above King Commons Park. The sign is a beacon of identity and could easily be adapted to a new logo for the city.

Benefits include cost savings, easy recognition and a common identity with the sign and a new logo.

Just a common sense approach.

Johnson City

Keep an eye out each week for another Question of the Week, but you may send us letters about any topic important to you. Authors must sign their letters and include addresses and phone numbers for verification. Letters may be no longer than 300 words and will be edited for grammar, style and length. Send your submission to Mailbag, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605-1717 or [email protected].

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