To my fellow tax payer,
Government run schools are wasteful. A recent beacon center survey estimated only 54% of
money in Tennessee education makes it to the classroom, and that's over reported, because they don't
account debt service tied to education. Debt service accounts for 11% of the budget, meaning less than
half of your tax dollar, earmarked for education, goes to the class room. Maryville is a typical system
in this regard. In addition to the principal, we employ 4 assistant principals at the High School.
Maryville Schools employ 11 guidance counselors and 5 psychologists. Why do we need these
positions? In all, Maryville Schools employ 1 person for every 8 students, and that is probably a
conservative estimate, due to some positions being contracted and how part time employees are
Our school officials also want to spend money on more wasteful projects. They want a check
point for the high school, which reminds me of a TSA check point. They also want more cameras in
some schools, as though the dozens that already exist are not enough. They want a key card system,
and a new press box for the visitor side of the football stadium. Our school officials have also
requested more computers to move to electronic testing. I trust our teachers more than a computer. If
we are so broke, we don't need to be buying things that are wants and not needs, especially things many
tax payers don't want at all.
The salaries of the city workers need to be more in line with the tax payers, paying for those
salaries. As of 2011, for Blount County, the per capita income was $24,096, and the median household
income was $47,298. There are 11 city employees that earn over $100,000, with a total salary of
$1,246,041.67. With a population of 27,258, that's $45.71 for each man, woman, and child in the city
going to the salary of 11 people. For a family of 4, that's $182.84. This doesn't count benefits, and 11
others earning between $90K and $100K. This also doesn't count any other salaries, yet our city is
broke and needs to raise taxes?
Maryville City officials estimate they will bring in $2.5 million revenue from the sales tax
increase. This would probably be a temporary increase, because if this passes, the odds of the county
trying to raise sales tax again would be high, and they might actually succeed in that scenario. This
would cut Maryville's gain in half. As though that is not enough, we appropriated $7,038,110 to debt
service. Is the problem, we don't have enough money, or is the problem we are spending to much on
money we've borrowed? Maryville is what could be called house poor. No amount of sales tax will
solve a spending or borrowing problem. Besides, this proposed increase would put us at the maximum
legal sales tax. Then what? 26% of property tax goes to debt service, and we have $152,441,896 total
debt. We need to pay down our debt, not spend more money.
Maryville isn't in as much of an emergency as we are being told. The city is sitting on a
$6,297,485 general fund balance, and the school system has a $5,613,623 undesignated fund balance.
Besides the general fund, there are other funds with a positive balance. I do not suggest we use these
balances, but I am suggesting, we have no need to panic, if we can just be more fiscally conservative.
Our government has pulled every stunt they can think of to take more money. Of course, it's
always “for the children”, as though taking money from children's parents works out in the children's
favor. In November 2012, they excluded Alcoa's voters from voting against the sales tax. We defeated
that. Then they held an election in June for the wheel tax, when people were on summer vacation. We
defeated that when 12,973 citizens showed up to vote. Now they are holding an election around
Thanksgiving and in the cold of December, in hopes you don't show up. The answer to this is to be
angry, and show up, and recruit as many people as you can to show up. Just in the last year, we have
saved $270 for many households by defeating tax increases. We need to show up in large numbers,
defeat the tax, and some of you need to run for office yourself. If you don't run, vote out the
incumbents and support challengers. The county primary is May 6. City officials are elected in
Sincerely, Samuel David Duck
You Can Say “No” to Higher Taxes
It’s Official !
Blount County Has a Spending Problem,
Not a Revenue Problem.
Both the Citizens for Better Government
and the Maryville Daily Times agree that
Blount County’s Annual Spending is over $9 Million higher
than the three closest counties our size in Tennessee.
(The Daily Times June 3 & 5, 2011)
Rather than dealing with our County’s Spending Problem,
our Blount County Commissioners voted to increase
your property taxes another $3.6 Million dollars.
If spending is not cut this year, they will have to raise property taxes
another $10 Million in 2012.
Sign 1 Petition to Stop the Wasteful Spending
This petition gives Taxpayers the right to vote
on establishing a Home Rule Charter for our County.
We Need your active support.
We need volunteers to go out
and fill One Page with friends and family members.
You can download and print the attached petition
and call us and we will pick up your signed petition.