Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Washington County does it right

Looks like Washington County will put a referendum on the April ballot to ask taxpayers if they are willing and able to pay a $25 wheel tax increase. Under Tennessee State Law there are three ways to pass a wheel tax increase. The County Commission can:

1- Authorize a referendum and let the taxpayers vote on the tax increase

2- Go ahead and pass the increase with a 2/3 majority of county commission. Taxpayers then have 30 days to get signatures on a petition equal to 10% of the voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election. If the signatures are validated, a referendum is held to allow taxpayers to vote on the wheel tax increase.

3- Request that a private act be passed by the General Assembly authorizing the tax increase.

The first option is the by far the best option. County Commissioners simply don't normally seek input from taxpayers. They deal, overwhelmingly, with people within government who always want more taxpayer money. The referendum allows taxpaying citizens to be a part of the process.