Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey issued a statement last week concerning county funding.

Guffey wrote, “Jackson County is starting to grow. New industry is moving in and existing industry is expanding operations and hiring more people. This growth is great for the state and cities. They benefit from the growth but the county has no growth tax in place and it has caused a massive financial problem.
Over the last six years, we [the county] have lost over a million dollars in TVA in-lieu-of tax dollars. We do not receive any sales tax dollars. The two cents collected is earmarked for the City and County School Systems.
When you purchase a driver’s license, the county receives $1.50. When you purchase a tag, the county receives $1.25.
Our largest tax revenue is with land taxes and it is not adequate to operate the county. We have cut out wasteful spending, and now have 27 fewer employees today than we had 6 1/2 years ago.
The County Commission has been responsible and has made as many cuts as we can without cutting the services to our citizens. The County needs a growth tax that will grow as the economy grows. One penny of sales tax will fix the current financial problems and make a way for paving around a 100 miles of roads per year, repair dilapidated bridges and continue current services.
Federal grants for projects are available but we currently cannot meet the match requirement. Most of the matches require a 75/25 or 80/20 matching funds.
The County Commission’s hands are tied since we cannot create revenue; therefore, we cannot fix the problems we have here in Jackson County.
We have to depend on our local legislators to increase the revenue needed unless they give the County Commission that authority.
We have kicked the can down the road for too many years and talked about fixing the problem, but now is the time to fix the problem.
The people of Jackson County deserve better roads and safer bridges.
The citizens of Jackson County just deserve better!
My door is always open to anyone that would like to come in and talk about our budget situation or the way our County operates.”

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