Saturday, December 10, 2011

TN City asking for contributions in Lieu of Taxes

Verschuur got the idea while touring Spain this past summer.

"We saw this huge cathedral being built, and our tour guide said it was funded through public money," the commissioner said. "No government money was involved."

The cathedral has been under construction more than 100 years and isn't near completion. But the notion inspired Verschuur.

"If people can contribute money like that for the public good, why not try it in Lakeland?" Verschuur said, noting that he donated $600.

Carmichael said over the years the city has received periodic donations from citizens, including about $15,000 last year.

"We thought it was a novel idea, and certainly something worth exploring," Tompkins said. "If it was successful, it would allow us to do more than we could do otherwise."

Carmichael said the only scenarios he envisions where the city would implement a property tax would be to provide emergency services or to support municipal school districts being considered by suburban cities.

"We'll make do without taxes," Verschuur said.