No new taxes for Blount County after people rejected the wheel tax. It was only $35 which doesn't seem like a lot. That's a couple trips to McDonalds or Starbucks, or a night at the movies. And way less than most of us give to charity or put in the offering plate. So why was it voted down?
By an overwhelming majority, Blount County taxpayers voted down a tax that would brought books and technology to schools and more jobs for their area. Now without it, the director of schools will have less money than last year. Blount County Director of Schools Rob Britt says, "You can see we're going to be going backwards. There are 84 positions we're looking to eliminate."
Britt asked the commission for the increase, so commissioners came up with the wheel tax. More than 8,800 people voted it down, a little over 4,000 said yes. Duck says, "I'm glad it failed as bad as it did."
Samuel Duck started Blount County Tax Revolt. Duck says he won't vote yes to any tax, "Why vote yes to any tax? You're not only voting to give your own money which can do voluntarily. I mean you don't have to have a tax to write a check, but you're also voting to take money from your neighbors."
Commissioners say one reason the wheel tax didn't pass, is because older people are moving to Blount County for lower property taxes. They don't have kids in the school system, and many are on fixed incomes.
Two years ago, they voted down a half cent sales tax. In 2006, a ten dollar wheel tax failed.