The Rhea County Commissioners are on the wheel tax bandwagon pushing for implementation of a $50 wheel tax. Their reasoning being because of budgetary shortfalls. They contend it necessary for "progress." They want to bring in new businesses, while buildings sit idle and empty and unused, requiring exorbitant maintenance cost. The county has always been shielded from passage of this ever-increasing taxation gimmick by former state legislator Jim Cobb.
When voters elected Dayton insurance agent Ron Travis their state legislator, the door for unlimited wheel tax legislation opened. The voters gave away their right to petition commissioners, their right to remove or limit a wheel tax. They gave the county commission a signed blank check to use on any project they could contrive as necessary. The usual excuse, renters and those on government subsidies would share the county tax burden is wrong. Renters already have such taxes factored in their rental payments. Individuals on government subsides would be exempt from a wheel tax.
County residents should contact their county executive, commissioners, and other county officials to prevent a wheel tax if it's not approved on a ballot.
BOB LACY, Dayton, Tenn.
Recently I was told that a list of 8,000 people in Tennessee exists for people with disabilities awaiting funding for workshops and/or group homes.
Now we all know that special education students in high school graduate and leave school at age 21. As adults, the caregivers are often parents -- what to do with adult children? This is a serious problem. Millions of federal and state dollars are spent in and through the Department of Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities, but yet we end up with 8,000 people on a waiting list for help.
We can certainly understand this with recessions and high unemployment. And yet, where are our priorities? Compassion for people who cannot help themselves and are left alone are not to be blamed for their place in life and society.
We see billions going for wars, foreign aid, etc. to outright grants to other countries -- even near dictators. How about giving just $1,100 per month to give a special needs person a bedroom in a group home.
Every time a national disaster happens, even in foreign countries, and even when television stations show us an emotional problem in society, our pocket books open up and millions and millions of dollars flow here and there.
Special needs adults are there, and they need our compassion and help.
WILLIAM J. KALLAS, Crossville, Tenn.