Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Tennessean Comes After Tennessee Tax Revolt

In its feature article today, the Tennessean attacks the report by Tennessee Tax Revolt and its spokesman Ben Cunningham that states that Nashville has a high rate of exodus amongst cities and that exodus can, at least in part, be connected to the high property tax rates in Davidson County.

On its face, Cunningham's argument is highly intuitive. However, you would have thought that Tennessee Tax Revolt was advocating the dismissal of gravitational theory in the way that the Tennessean article hypes their story. An average reader would think that all of the world's economists were united in attacking TTR's analysis.

Of course, one has to ask how many economists were involved in this alleged repudiation. That number would be: two. And they were not nearly in disagreement with TTR's analysis as the headline would make it seem.

TTR's conclusion - that people don't like to pay high property taxes and that is a factor in their decision to either locate within or, in the alternative, nearby a city is supported by my own observations.

Look at Chicago or Washington, D.C. Perfectly good residences are available in both. However, families go out of their way to locate far away from these cities - in the case of D.C., as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania - and face a daily commute which can last over 2 1/2 hours.

Look to Knox County and the growth of Seymour. Seymour is one of the hottest real estate markets in East Tennessee. Why? Well, if you buy a home in Sevier County, the taxes are nearly 1/4 of what it costs to live in the City of Knoxville. Seymour's location right over the Knox and Blount County lines is highly desired, which anecdotally explains the growth.

As is usual, the Tennessean article doesn't live up to the promise of its headline.

MORE: Bill Hobbs has more on this story - writing from his vacation, no less.

Yeah, The Tennessean is trying to shut Ben up about those property taxes, lest even more of the paper's dwindling number of subscribers flee. But I still subscribe to The Public Menace down here almost in Giles County, though every day when I wrestle my neighbors' dogs for it, I wonder why. Some days I let the dogs win.
Yes, the blatantly obvious has always escaped the bunker-dwellers on Broadway. Reminds me of how Bill Fox of UT used to tell legislators that the income tax would be good for TN or how Ralph Perry (Sundquist's press lackey) would go around saying that TennCare was SAVING taxpayers money -- with the Tennessean's reporters (esp. Bonna de la Cruz) taking it all as gospel.
Patrick -

Great to hear from you! It has certainly been too long since our last contact.

On a sad note, I don't think that Bill Fox's tune has changed, and he might get the soapbox he needs with Bob Rochelle running for the State Senate this election cycle.

Let's pray that Mae Beavers is able to keep that one in the good guys' column.

Drop me a line when you get the chance (UTLegalEagle-at-yahoo-dot-com).


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