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LETTER: Smyrna can’t justify 46% property tax hike

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LETTER: Smyrna can’t justify 46% property tax hike

LETTER: Smyrna can’t justify 46% property tax hike – The Daily News Journal

I am writing to voice my disgust about the 46 percent increase in Smyrna property taxes and your opinion piece “Smyrna tax rate doesn’t add up anymore.”
In the article, you say, “Smyrna’s not raising taxes for a bigger budget” and that the proposed budget is smaller than last year’s budget. Am I the only one who wonders how this justifies a 46 percent increase in my property taxes?
You then tried to rationalize the increase by stating that the cost of doing business has gone up. Well, that cost is still covered in the budget, which, according to you, is less than last year, so that’s a wash. You also stated that Smyrna was forced to dip into its reserves last year. OK, how much more were our leaders spending last year than we took in? 46 percent? Did we suddenly turn into Detroit or (insert bankrupt California city here). Seriously, I have to wonder just how much we are in the “red.” Are we spending 10 percent more than we take in? 20 percent ? Do we have some pressing capital projects that have to be paid for every single year into the future to justify a 46 percent increase? Perhaps more projects like the “downtown” revitalization project /train depot renovation?
I also have a concern with the insistence of justifying the 46 percent increase by comparing us with La Vergne and Murfreesboro. First of all, yes, we are currently paying less of a percentage than La Vergne. There is a reason for this. La Vergne does not have Nissan paying a massive amount of property taxes into their city’s coffers. Also, what is left out of the article is that when we raise our taxes by 46 percent, we will be leapfrogging La Vergne’s rates and paying 10 percent more than they do. Apparently paying more taxes than our neighbors is something we should all aspire to. If that’s the case, will they now raise their rates in retaliation? We should stop this arms race before it starts.
Scott Jackson
Smyrna

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