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Transparency looks like a city mirage

Just received a survey from Mayor Tim Kelly asking if I want transparency in a new police chief, but I am feeling a lack of transparency in the recent tax increase passed by our city council. Having now received my property tax bill for 2021, I see that the new rate as well as the reappraisal applies to the entire year and not just that period since the new rate went into effect. I guess I am supposed to know that, but I don't remember any council member or the mayor reminding me that I would be paying the new higher rate on the time period prior to the increase being voted on.

So for those paying their taxes into an escrow account, they didn't pay enough. For people who bought a house in 2021, they are now going to pay the tax increase on that time period when they didn't even own the house. It is clear that the rate increase was approved before Oct. 1 so the new rate would apply to the entire year. That is transparent to me.

George Patten

Hixson

 

Tracking proposal will hurt consumers

Congress is considering a sweeping proposal that will require financial institutions to report to the Internal Revenue Service detailed information on the inflows and outflows of every account totaling over $10,000 annually. This proposal is detrimental to Tennessee consumers and small businesses.

The proposal requires financial institutions to track the transactions of the individuals and businesses they serve and report that activity to the IRS. The IRS can use this information to identify those who are avoiding paying taxes.

The massive amount of new information that the IRS will collect in connection with this proposal will be overwhelming and of questionable relevance to the calculation of taxable income.

Instead of infringing on customers' privacy and using resources that could otherwise be focused on serving local communities, we suggest to members of Congress that they direct the IRS to close any tax compliance gap with the data the agency already has.

As the voice for Tennessee credit unions, we urge individuals and businesses served by Tennessee's financial institutions to tell their members of Congress this proposal is going to hurt, not help, consumers and small businesses.

Fred Robinson

Tennessee Credit Union League

 

CHOICES program increases sought

TennCare created the CHOICES program nearly 11 years ago. Our caregivers prepare meals for eligible Tennessee seniors, assist them with bathroom visits, clean homes and even take them to doctor appointments.

The program has been incredibly successful, with nearly 22,000 Tennesseans enrolled as of 2017, and saves the state $350 million annually.

Unfortunately, the program is being threatened because there has not been an increase in reimbursement rates for providers since the program began.

Every year our costs increase, and it becomes more difficult to pass along wage increases to caregivers. CHOICES providers like me cannot recruit or retain caregivers when our employees could make higher wages in the fast food or retail industries, doing less demanding work.

We ask that state lawmakers urgently increase the state's reimbursement rates.

Join me in telling Gov. Bill Lee and members of the legislature our seniors and individuals with disabilities deserve the right to keep their CHOICES.

Teresa Wright

Addus HomeCare

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