Hamilton County Commission’s Defeat of 34-Cent Property Tax Increase Leaves Teachers with ‘Defeated Faces,’ Disappoints School Board Member’s Dog

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A split Hamilton County Commission voted 5-4 Wednesday against a 34-cent increase on property taxes for the school system, and one school board member reacted by saying his dog was disappointed in the outcome.

Voting against were Greg Martin, Randy Fairbanks, Chester Bankston, Tim Boyd and Sabrena Smedley (pictured above), according to a story by The Chattanoogan. In favor were Chip Baker, Katherlyn Geter, Warren Mackey and David Sharpe.

County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said the rejection means none of the budget will be approved until the schools come back with a new budget leaving out the requested $34 million in new funds, The Chattanoogan said. That will happen after the Hamilton County Department of Education meets again.

The county commission has until Aug. 31 to approve the overall budget, according to a story by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger’s proposed $819 million budget included $443 million for the school district’s general purpose budget, a 5 percent raise for teachers, plus the addition of 14 counselors, 15 social workers, 15 truancy officers, 11 art teachers, 10 special education teachers and 32 special education assistants, the newspaper said.

News Channel 9 said teachers were disappointed.

Teachers filed out of the Hamilton County Commission meeting with defeated faces.

“This is a reflection of what the community is willing to invest in and I think it’s really sad,” said Giselle Palmer, a 4th grade teacher at Eastside Elementary.

However, one commissioner had a different perspective.

“I don’t think all these problems we can just tax ourselves out of,” said Head Commissioner Smedley.

One school board member stated that only teachers and students would be affected by the 34-cent property tax increase.

Tucker McClendon tweeted, “Some tough decisions are now going to have to be made and the only people that will get affected are the 3,000 teachers and 44,000 students of Hamilton County.”

Even McClendon’s dog was disappointed.

“Chester isn’t very happy that budget season isn’t over…. wouldn’t even look at me.”

 

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Photo “Sabrena Smedley” by Sabrena Smedley.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Thoughts to “Hamilton County Commission’s Defeat of 34-Cent Property Tax Increase Leaves Teachers with ‘Defeated Faces,’ Disappoints School Board Member’s Dog”

  1. Horatio Bunce

    “I don’t think all these problems we can just tax ourselves out of,” said Head Commissioner Smedley.

    No kidding. I lived in Hamilton County in the late 1980’s. Hispanic population was essentially nil. After GW Bush, Clinton/Gore and NAFTA, Hamilton schools are now at 13.4% hispanic.

    The largest sanctuary businesses in TN are called “public schools”. Want a 5% raise? Eliminate the illegals. Because, no, people are not interested in “investing” in more of your illegal trafficking.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Well said!!

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