Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Kincannon: Tax, Spend and Waste Mayor

Taxes have spiraled upward and property tax payers are in shock. Mayor Indya Kincannon sought and got a 40% raise in property taxes from the city council.  The only two members of the Knoxville City Council to vote against the tax increase were Janet Testerman and Amelia Parker.

The first thing Kincannon did after getting her whopping big tax increase?  Cut services by announcing police officers will not be going to the scenes of accidents and doing reports unless someone is injured.  So, Kincannon raises property taxes by 40% and the first thing she does is cut back services.

The property tax will be felt by those who rent inside the City of Knoxville, whether residential or commercial.  Landlords aren’t going to eat the increase, but rather will pass along the steep increase to consumers.  Knoxville is already suffering from a housing crisis, with rents having soared.  Now, because of the tax increase, they’ll go up even more.  These are the same folks who keep babbling about “affordable” housing and jacked up the property taxes of working families in the middle of the worst recession in 41 years.

At the same time, Kincannon and the council have spent $700,000 on a monstrosity that is supposed to be “art” and according to one local news source, taxpayers are being billed $800,000 just for the base of the pile of junk.  So, all told, taxpayers will have a cool $1.5 million dollars invested in “art” nobody wanted or asked for.

Local Democrats try and pick at the size of Mayor Glenn Jacobs’ staff, which pales by comparison to that of city Mayor Indya Kincannon.  For one thing, the city government provides basically three essential services: police and fire protection and it contracts out garbage pickup.  Everything else is done by the county government.  The school system is run by the county after the city went out of the school business.  Roads, parks, libraries, courts and the health department are all run by the Knox County government.  Privately, several of the city councilmen bitterly resent the fact Knox County has not raised property taxes in more than 20 years, while the City has raised its own two or three times within the past five years and city leaders are already planning to raise them yet again.  The size of Knox County’s government is bigger than that of the City, but then, it provides more services, although the City provides its employees defined benefit packages that have required tax increases to feed constantly.  The salaries paid to folks perched around the throne of Indya Kincannon are embarrassingly large.

Yet Glenn Jacobs was able to give sheriff’s deputies a well-deserved 12% raise; teachers have received raises locally amounting to about 20% over the last five years and general county employees got a 3% raise, all without having to raise taxes.

The City provided raises and bonuses to employees, including those making over $120,000 annually while jacking up property taxes by 40%.  For years the City has had employees receiving defined benefits, meaning while in retirement they receive a percentage increase annually.  Basically, by the time someone has been retired for 20 years, he/she is making a full salary, which is a pretty good deal.

Knox County has encouraged business, while the city has not.  The county hasn’t gone into the welfare business, which the city has concentrated upon.  The more a city government taxes those who work for a living to pay for free stuff for those who do not causes folks to move out of that city and it begins to deteriorate.  Just about every big city in the country serves as a case in point.

The City of Knoxville has squandered money and is squeezing its residents for more to spend and is looking to slice off a hefty chunk of the sales tax revenue presently designated for the schools.  The thinking is that might force Knox County to raise its own property taxes, which is very unlikely.  The irony is Indya Kincannon and City Councilwoman Lynne Fugate were both members of the Knox County Board of Education.  Both were big supporters of then-Superintendent Jim McIntyre.  Both would have fought to the last ditch against any idea by the City of Knoxville to defund the schools.  Now, apparently, the shoe is on the other foot, and they want more taxpayer dollars to spend.  “Art” is mighty expensive, but you get what you vote for every time.




Don’t Put All Your Oil Into One Basket

The folks in Europe have gotten themselves into quite a bad situation.  Many of the European countries went the way of the climate alarmist cultists and as result made themselves dependent upon Russia for heating oil.  Vladimir Putin has turned off the tap, which can happen when one is dependent upon the whims of others.

This winter promises to be pretty bleak for Europeans with folks paying a minimum increase of 300% to heat their homes and apartments.  Folks may be spending as much as 30% of their incomes simply to heat their homes.  Joe Biden and the Democrats want to do that to you here in the good old USA.

One in six Americans is having trouble paying energy bills now in the middle of the recession.


Equity Is Not Equality

Remember Joe Biden promised to “unite” our country when he was running for president.  His running mate and now Vice President Kamala Harris suggested race be a determining factor in who would receive aid from the Federal Emergency Management Administration.  “We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity,” Harris said in a conversation at the Democratic National Committee’s Women Leadership Forum Friday before last.

“If we want people to be in an equal place sometimes we need to take into account those disparities and do that work,” Harris chirped.

Of course, suggesting FEMA give aid based on race is reprehensible, but those are Kamala Harris’ own words.  Delivering resources on the basis of race is illegal.  But then again, so is letting anyone cross our borders without going through the legal process of immigration to this country.