As a county resident I don't understand this ancient, tired argument. The city is part of the county. You are part of the whole. As a city resident, you still receive county services. You still have county roads, mutual aid with the volunteer fire departments, and the sheriff's department will still take care of any law enforcement needs of city residents. Don't believe me? Commit a crime in front of a county officer within the city limits. They won't turn a blind eye as they still have jurisdiction within the city limits- not the other way around. County taxes house inmates as well as educate all the children in Hamilton County - including Chattanooga city where the majority of students (and inmates) live.
If the city cannot sustain their existing boundaries with their current tax base, how does the math work out that adding a larger service area complete with mandatory sewers, patrolling and other infrastructure will create a positive cash flow for the city? If you already can't meet your budget with your already high property tax rates, maybe you've grown a bit too fast for your means.
I don't want your sewers, your sidewalks, your ordinances, your gangs, your garbage collection, your alienated police department, your blue rhino, your excessive personnel and pseudo-nepotism or any of the other waste you constantly create before sticking the bill to your residents. What am I going to gain besides garbage collection and mandatory sewer charges whether I pay $8,000 to connect or not? Some sort of prestige? The ability to say that my dollars paid for sculpture at Access Road and Hixson Pike while panhandlers dot the interstate on-ramps and the city council has its hand out again to buy cameras from B&H Photo in New York?
Chattanooga constantly markets itself to tourists who don't pay a single penny in property tax. Why are they not freeloaders? A family may spend 3 or 4 days here, spending $100 a day per person, but what about the 365 days a year that I spend $50 to $100 a day in groceries, dry cleaning, entertainment, meals, etc. whether it is tourist season or not? You get the tax benefit of all of us county residents shopping within the city but not having to pay a SINGLE PENNY to provide services. The inequality can be argued from our side too. As the city encroaches our homes, crime rates are increasing, traffic counts are increasing and the overall quiet enjoyment of our neighborhoods is being hindered.
What benefit is there in annexing Hurricane Creek Estates and Windstone? There is no room for retail or expansion. You must call it what is it: annexation for revenue. We don't want your problems, didn't cause them, and don't contribute to them. If the tangential residents are freeloaders, then either quit marketing this town for tourism or set up toll booths at all city points of entry. What's the difference between that and turning all of downtown in to one big "pay as you go" parking lot?