The Knox County Mayor is proposing more than $400 million for Schools. That's a $13 million increase over last year. The schools are asking for an additional $35 million this year. That would require at least a $0.35 property tax increase -- that's a 15 percent tax hike! Personal property is taxed at 25 percent of assessed value, whereas small businesses are taxed at 40 percent of assessed value of their property.
Now, in this economy, is not the time to raise taxes!
•A property tax increase is going to hurt families, single mothers, seniors on fixed income, small businesses and anyone else who is just trying to make ends meet.
In the end, everyone in Knox County pays more, the increase will trickle down from property/ home owners to those who rent from them.
•For some, a tax increase may mean giving up Starbucks or a fancy dinner (as the head of the Chamber, Mike Edwards, said in the newspaper), but for many families it means giving up a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, not putting gas in the car to get to work, etc.
•Taking more money from taxpayers to throw at a problem is not and never will be the solution.
•$400 million is plenty of money to teach children how to read.
•Children need parents engaged in their education -- parents need to be in the schools, talking to teachers, making sure homework is done...and involved at home. No amount of money is going to fill that need.
•An iPad or other device is not going to suddenly teach children how to read.
•More than half of Knox County's 3rd grade students aren't reading at grade level. Wireless internet, iPads, etc., will not change that. Direct interaction with teachers, spending time with books, with parents reading, etc. will change that...and that does not cost $35 million. That does not require a $35 million tax increase.