No Surprise

As expected, voters living in a 200-acre tract on the east side of the I-75/Hwy 61 junction have indicated by referendum that they wish to be annexed by Clinton.

The vote was 22-0. KNS has the story.

What is surprising — and disappointing — is that some County Commissioners continue to think in terms of blocking or delaying the annexation by Clinton. It’s clearly not a matter of principle; it’s a matter of greed. Anderson County will gladly agree to the annexation for a share of Clinton’s tax revenue. The deal they proposed Monday night is strikingly similar to what Clinton offered two years ago — before the 5-year ban on annexation had expired, and before a lot more time and money were spent on legal maneuvering.

It’s no surprise to me that Clinton is not interested in sharing now, since it appears that the annexation will be finalized without any concessions to the County (which has not put much effort, it would seem, into encouraging development on its own).

When any development occurs in Anderson County — whether within the boundaries of a city or not — the County collects additional revenue. It’s called expanding the tax base, and is greatly preferred to raising the tax rate. But to provide a reasonable level of services, it is necessary to do one or the other. Anderson County will realize a windfall for Clinton’s success, as well as that of Oak Ridge, Norris, Lake City, and part of Oliver Springs. They don’t have to do anything except get out of the way.

Anderson County Commissioners: please do so.

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