To The Editor:
Wilson County residents, get ready to hold onto your wallet. The county commission is considering a property tax increase.
The first question we should all be asking the commission: Has every means available been taken to reduce the size and scope of government making the additional revenue truly necessary to fund only functions and facilities that the private sector cannot or will not?
The second question should be, if every line in the county budget has been scrutinized and deemed necessary and the cost of new growth is the cause of increased cost of operations (new schools, new roads, additional safety personnel, etc.), shouldn't those causing the growth pay for it instead of raising everyone's property taxes?
Well guess what, folks? There is an alternative funding mechanism in place for this reason, and we the people need to encourage our commissioners to look toward this to fund growth.
Wilson County has an adequate facilities fee. This is a one-time "user fee" that is charged to a new home or commercial building at the time the building permit is issued. The logic behind the fee is it offsets the costs created by new development, i.e. those causing the increased costs pay for it.
If you are opposed to raising property taxes, I would strongly encourage you to contact your county commissioner, ask him or her to first justify the need for additional funds, and if the revenue is truly needed, suggest the adequate facilities fee be raised instead of raising property taxes. The commissioner may counter with the argument that raising the fee will stop the growth and negatively impact real estate agents and developers. You, gentle citizens, can counter with the fact that the greater Nashville area is a seller's market, raising the fee will not stop home sales or development.
I also want to take this time for a public service announcement and encourage every parent with a child or children in the Wilson County government school system to shop local. Why, you ask? A portion of the sales tax goes to the school system. Stop giving Davidson County your dollars. Keep property taxes low and support your children, teachers and school system and shop Wilson County.
And finally, if you are opposed to raising the property tax, please show up and voice your concerns live and in person at the public hearing at 6 p.m. prior to the August county commission meeting. Speak now or forever hold your peace.