Van Buren County wheel tax

By | February 6, 2019 9:55 am

Dear SpartaLive,

There has been much talk and conversation by a few that have never had the facts about the wheel tax proposal for Van Buren County. There was reaction before finding out the facts, and it was proceeded upon with what they deemed to be their perception without asking pertinent questions.

One pertinent fact is that once the petition was filed for a wheel tax referendum, by state statue, a special election for a wheel tax must be conducted no less than 75 days but no more than 90 days once the election commission approved the petition. This election will cost the county around $15,000-$18,000.

There are rumors that the wheel tax could go as high as $100 per vehicle. This is not true. The county commission capped the wheel tax at $30. The wheel tax will start at $10 per vehicle. The need for this is to pay for additional positions in the Van Buren County Jail. This wheel tax will not pay for all the new positions in the jail, but the increase in litigation tax will assist in this. The $10 wheel tax is implemented to assist with the offset of this cost increase.

We do feel the best alternative to a property tax increase is this plan where all residents of Van Buren County would pay, not just property owners. It is a fair tax for all.

Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson

comments » 9

  1. Comment by Al Klee

    February 6, 2019 at 10:43 am

    The idea that all residents are not paying tax on property is in itself not accurate. As a rental owner, if the property taxes or insurance goes up, then the rent goes up at the same amount or higher to cover the property taxes.

    IMO a property tax hike is better for covering this type need. A Wheel Tax should be used for transportation related issues and needs such as fixing roads and bridges.

  2. Comment by Terry Swindell

    February 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    We only need one Mayor. Get rid of the city Mayor and there is the money you need. Our small town does not need 2 Mayors. If you can not handle the work for the whole County maybe you should not be the Mayor.

  3. Comment by Laura Wallace

    February 6, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Mr. Wilson, again I have to agree to disagree. Pertinate fact 1) We did know this would cause an expensive special election. Many were upset because we did not know that the commision voted to put the wheel tax in place. Although an agenda stating there was a county meeting was indeed in the paper (at the old address) the agenda states the order of the meeting, not that it was to vote on the wheel tax. 2 commisioners voted against it. When I asked commisioners about this, they told me if it were put to vote, it would not pass. Well, seems if the people represented by a commisioner are against an item the commisioners should vote in favor of those they represent? Thank you Bill and Mickey for doing that.

    The wheel tax, clearly states it is capped at 30.00. Which at a cap out will bring in 150,000.00 by your estimate . You said we needed a little over 200,000.00. When I asked you in your office about the wheel tax, you said you could not gaurentee it would not be capped out within a year, you could not gaurentee there would not be a property tax increase behind it. But you insinuated even here, that this is a choice between the two.

    Homes are taxed at 20%, farms green belted pay a lil less, housing projects in Spencer are considered commercial and pay at 40%. If the State sees fit to pay for housing, then they will be paying more, not the county. Renters will have an increase in rent if they need to adjust. So in actuality, everyone does pay. Do I wa t to pay more taxes? No. But with property taxes, our elderly, disabled veterans and totally disabled has a relief plan that can help them. The wheel tax has no such clause for those in need.

  4. Comment by Joe Key

    February 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    Maybe as a new resident of Van Buren county I really can’t say a lot but I will day this. When I went to transfer my vehicles from Alabama I was well pleased with what I paid. Even if I had to pay the full $30 wheel tax I still would have been ecstatic about the fee. The amount I paid for two vehicles and my motorcycle was still less than what I would have paid for the motorcycle alone and that includes title transfer fee. I know nobody wants to pay extra fees but sometimes you have to consider the health of the place you reside and weigh the costs.

  5. Comment by Sue Bailey

    February 6, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you Mayor Wilson and Van Buren County Commissioners for selecting a fair and reasonable fee to help fund the Van Buren County Jail. The $10.00 fee that every owner of a vehicle will pay is fair and will provide a safer county in which to live. You could have elected a more expensive fee such as the infamous vehicle fees which are charged in several other states. My cousin who resides in New England said just this week that a new, high end vehicle would cost $600-$700 annual fee and a older, low end one would be less than a hundred, and this is in addition to the required vehicle inspection cost (and repairs if required per inspection). In closure, a $10.00 fee sounds good to me!

  6. Comment by Virginia Evans

    February 7, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    I can easily pay this tax. However, I believe that my representatives should be transparent about their policy and their plans for my welfare.
    Your letter suggests that you were a victim of Tennessee Code. Yet you were given an opportunity to put the Wheel Tax on the midterm ballot for free. You declined. You were given an opportunity to void the Wheel Tax Resolution in order to have the citizens table their petition in the October commission meetings. You declined.
    In my recollection, every statement you’ve made about the resolution states that the money is for the Jail. Yet the resolution states in Section 6 that the fund may be used for any and all purposed including debt relief.
    So the money you ask for, although needed, has not been requested in an honest and open manner. When you are ready to communicate truthfully, I’ll be ready to consider your requests.

  7. Comment by Jason

    February 7, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    So they will spend $15,000-$18,000 for a special electio. To implement a tax. Sounds counter productive.

  8. Comment by Ginny Evans

    February 7, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    I was delighted to see the big turnout tonight in Spencer in spite of the rain storm, for the counting of the wheel tax votes….also delighted to find that it failed by over 80 votes. (the message board was not quite big enough to cover the third number, so it could have been 513 or 518). I have no problem with paying $10.00 per auto a year to support the county, but have a problem with the way it was done. If you read the recent notice in small print in the classified section of the Expositor which announced the scheduled vote on Feb. 7, 2019 the whole way through, then you might have noticed that whereas the main body of the text said the wheel tax would be $10.00; down at the very bottom of the column, under that announcement…in even smaller print there was a tiny add on which stated that one of the commissioners voted that the wheel tax be capped at $30.00. To me that appears to be a deceitful way to slide in the fact that once the bill is voted in, then the commission can immediately raise the cost to $30.00 without going back to the citizens for approval. That bit of slight of hand, is the reason I voted against the wheel tax. Citizens deserve better than that. Today’s vote against the wheel tax is likely in direct response to the recently established citizens group in Van Buren County which is holding monthly meetings to help citizens understand how their local government works and the importance of attending scheduled governmental meetings where they can participate as they learn how Van Buren’s needs are being met and what they can do to assist in the decision making process. Congratulations to those were working to get citizens out to vote on this issue.

  9. Comment by David Chandler VBC Commissioner 1st District

    February 8, 2019 at 9:28 am

    I must respond to Ginny Evan’s post. I am the county commissioner who made the motion to cap the wheel tax at $30.00 and proud to claim that fact. I made that motion in order to protect the citizens of Van Buren County. If the wheel tax was implemented, the cap would keep the current or any future county commission from raising the wheel tax above $30.00 whether it be one year from now or ten years from now. Also stated in my motion, before it could go above $30.00 it must be placed on the General Election ballot for the citizens of Van Buren County to vote yes or no. Meaning if the citizens voted no it could go no higher than #30.00. Statements like yours causes problems and mistrust because you are not telling the entire story. What you did say was true just not the complete story and people deserve to know the complete story.


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